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The Axe Files with David Axelrod

CNN

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Location:

United States

Description:

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 473 — Barton Gellman

1/13/2022
Journalist Barton Gellman has been questioning power and authority since, as editor of the school paper, he sued his high school for censorship. He has made a career of shining a spotlight on the use and abuse of power, most recently in a series of in-depth warnings for The Atlantic on Trump and threats to American democracy. He joined David to talk about how skepticism towards authority has shaped his career, grappling with the interests of national security versus self-government, and the...

Duration:01:09:03

Ep. 472 — Rep. Jamie Raskin

1/6/2022
Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin rose to national prominence when he led the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in January 2021, a proceeding that took place just weeks after two compounding traumas: the death of his son and the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Raskin joined David to talk about losing his son, Tommy, the January 6 insurrection and its aftermath, the cracks in the electoral college, if the country could survive another Trump presidency, and his new...

Duration:01:01:57

Best of The Axe Files: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

12/30/2021
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already faced a series of unprecedented crises during her four year tenure in the nation’s highest office. This week, we revisit our June 2021 conversation with the young, progressive Prime Minister who has led her country through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic. From her rural and working-class childhood to her nation’s highest office, Prime Minister Ardern says her focus has always been on...

Duration:00:55:39

Best of The Axe Files: Jen Psaki

12/23/2021
This week, we revisit our May 2021 conversation with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki didn’t envision herself returning to the White House after serving as Communications Director under President Obama, but when President Joe Biden asked her to join his team, she agreed. She now speaks on behalf of the Biden administration and holds near-daily press briefings, which she called just the tip of the iceberg of her responsibilities. Jen joined David to talk about how the constant...

Duration:01:02:17

Ep. 471 — Rep. Elissa Slotkin

12/16/2021
Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin intended to pursue international development work, but watching the twin towers fall on 9/11 as a graduate student in New York changed the trajectory of her career. Rep. Slotkin spent years in the CIA before running for office, flipping a Trump district from red to blue in 2018. Rep. Slotkin joined David to talk about the difficulty of being a Midwestern member of the Democratic Party, the rifts in Congress, the recent fatal high school shooting in her district,...

Duration:01:04:33

Ep. 470 — Gen. Stanley McChrystal

12/9/2021
After more than three decades in the military, including overseeing joint special operations and leading the war in Afghanistan, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has learned a thing or two about risk. He recently wrote “Risk: A User’s Guide,” a manual on assessing and mitigating perilous situations. He joined David to talk about his latest book, the country’s 20 years in Afghanistan, how the US failed to successfully manage Covid-19, and the threat of disinformation. To learn more about how...

Duration:00:56:39

Ep. 469 — Marc Short

12/2/2021
A longtime Republican operative, Marc Short served as both White House director of legislative affairs and chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence during the Trump administration. He joined David to share his take on the administration, his relationship with Pence, the politicization of Covid-19, his first-hand account of the events that transpired on January 6th, and his thoughts on the role of the federal government. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit...

Duration:01:09:10

Ep. 468 — Chris Christie

11/22/2021
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie considers Donald Trump a friend, but he has been outspoken against the former president’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen. He is now considering a run for president in 2024 and has said a Trump candidacy would not stop him. He joined David to talk about the need for truth in politics, his battle with Covid-19, the virus’ lasting impacts on society, and his hope that his new book, “Republican Rescue,” gives other Republicans courage to...

Duration:01:01:32

Ep. 467 — Rep. Pramila Jayapal

11/18/2021
Rep. Pramila Jayapal came to the US for college at just 16 years old. She found success in finance, nonprofits and activism before deciding to take her fight to politics. She joined David to talk about knowing when to use her legislative leverage as chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill over the finish line, the need for filibuster reform to protect voting rights and her relationship with President Biden. To learn more about how CNN...

Duration:01:06:53

Ep. 466 — Fiona Hill

11/11/2021
Growing up in England’s distressed coal country, there weren’t many opportunities for bright, ambitious people like Fiona Hill. Through hard work and some lucky breaks, Fiona rose to deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council. Consequentially, she also became a household name during the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. She joined David to talk about her hometown, her concerns over the...

Duration:00:58:11

Presenting Margins of Error

11/4/2021
This week, we’re bringing you an episode of CNN’s Margins of Error. It's been a year since Americans waited on edge to find out the winner in the strangest election of our lifetimes. CNN’s Harry Enten revisits that night and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how election night turned into election week. He'll also explore the repercussions of the delayed count and how we can avoid drawn out election results in the future. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit...

Duration:00:31:21

Ep. 465 — Russell Moore

10/28/2021
Public theologian Russell Moore has long encouraged evangelical Christians to focus on practicing religion rather than engaging in culture wars, something he found increasingly difficult under former President Donald Trump. Moore left his leadership post at the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this year and now works for Christianity Today. He joined David to talk about how working for a conservative Democratic congressman on Capitol Hill reaffirmed his belief in the possibility of...

Duration:01:03:47

Ep. 464—Anderson Cooper

10/21/2021
Anderson Cooper is now a well-known CNN anchor, but he got his start in journalism armed with just a camcorder and a fake press pass. Cooper is also part of the storied Vanderbilt family, which he writes about in his latest book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. He joined David to talk about the corrosive power of money and how its effects can ripple through generations, his mother’s life and her capacity for overcoming trauma, losing his father at 10 years old, and how...

Duration:01:04:47

Ep. 463—Evan Osnos

10/14/2021
When journalist Evan Osnos returned to the US in 2013 after eight years in China, he experienced somewhat of a culture shock. He found the underpinnings of the country shaken, so he set off to find out why. Evan joined David to discuss his journey from small-town newspaper photographer to The New Yorker writer, how technology has made China more autocratic, the power of money in politics, how President Joe Biden defies expectations, and what he learned traversing the country, chronicled in...

Duration:01:01:25

Ep. 462 — Robert Costa

10/7/2021
Journalist Robert Costa is known for his in-depth reporting on former president Donald Trump and for co-authoring a new book with legendary journalist Bob Woodward, but his first claim to fame was convincing John Mayer to play at his high school prom. Robert joined David to talk about his years covering the Republican Party, the ongoing threats he sees to U.S. democracy, what he learned about reporting from Bob Woodward, and their book, Peril. To learn more about how CNN protects listener...

Duration:00:52:53

Ep. 461 — Monica Lewinsky

9/30/2021
Monica Lewinsky has been many things: White House intern, media punching bag, writer, anti-bullying activist, and now, producer. She talked to David about her upbringing and her parents' tumultuous divorce, her struggles with mental health following her affair with former President Bill Clinton, the dangers of social media, and how she took back control of her own story, most recently as a producer on “Impeachment: American Crime Story.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy,...

Duration:00:55:00

Presenting Total Recall: California's Political Circus

9/23/2021
This week we’re bringing you an episode of CNN's Total Recall: California’s Political Circus. You probably remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California. But do you remember how it all happened? The blackouts, the budget and of course, the car tax! CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, Dana Bash, takes you back to the origins of the 2003 California Recall and talks with Schwarzenegger and the man he beat, Gray Davis to learn why this election became such a circus. To...

Duration:00:26:24

Ep. 460 — Ken Burns

9/16/2021
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns can pinpoint the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a storyteller. After witnessing his father cry during a film, he understood the power of an impactful story. That, plus the tragic death of his mother which he calls the defining moment of his life, spurred a passion for storytelling that unearths the past and “wakes the dead.” He joined David to talk about his difficult upbringing, what he loves about history, why it’s impossible to disentangle race from...

Duration:01:02:53

Ep. 459 — Clarissa Ward

9/9/2021
Twenty years ago, as Clarissa Ward watched the 9/11 attacks unfold on television, she experienced a profound sense of shock and shame that she did not have a better grasp on what was happening in the world. In that moment she felt compelled to pursue journalism in order to bring to life the shared human experience, and since then she has reported from the front lines of conflict zones around the world. Ward, who is CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, joined David to talk about her...

Duration:01:06:25

Ep. 458 — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

9/2/2021
After a behind-the-scenes career in the military that led to the National Security Council, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman found himself thrust into the spotlight as a key witness in the first impeachment trial of President Trump. He joined David to talk about his family history and childhood as an immigrant in New York, his thoughts on the Afghanistan withdrawal and Afghan refugees coming to America, Trump and his relationship with Russia, and his new memoir, Here, Right Matters. To...

Duration:00:59:19