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Midterm Election Special with Neera Tanden

There was an election last night—did you hear? In this episode, Ed and Daniella sit down with Neera Tanden, the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, to talk about the electoral rebuke of President Donald Trump, the policy priorities that will shape the upcoming Congress, the success of female candidates this election cycle, and what she’s watching when she’s able to take a rare break from politics. We also react to the news of President Trump firing Attorney General Jeff...


Jeh Johnson on a Week of Hate and the Importance of the Vote

From racially motivated killings in Kentucky, to pipe bombs mailed to prominent officials, to murders in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the nation endured a particularly trying week. In normal times, we might rely on our president to step in and serve as healer-in-chief – a task that past presidents of all political stripes have dutifully performed. But these are not normal times. Five days out from the hugely consequential midterm elections, Jeh Johnson, former secretary of homeland security...


A Mueller Investigation Refresher With Joyce Vance

Joyce Vance—a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, an MSNBC contributor, and current distinguished law professor at the University of Alabama—knows a thing or two about this country’s legal institutions. From the efficiency of special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, to the influence and legacy of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Ed and Daniella probe this seasoned prosecutor on a range of issues surrounding...


The Illiberal International: Michael McFaul on Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia, and Vladimir Putin

The alleged assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has rattled the world, and attention has turned to how the U.S. government will respond. Against that tableau, Daniella and Ed sat down with Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, to break down what an American diplomatic response should be to this atrocious alleged crime. McFaul also discusses Russia’s new ideological war with the West and retells...


Ike Barinholtz and How to Talk Politics at the Dinner Table

Hollywood and Washington, D.C., collide in the pod this week as Ike Barinholtz stops by to discuss his new film, “The Oath,” in which he stars alongside Tiffany Haddish, and for which he earned his first major movie directing credit. The writer/director/actor talks about the inspirations behind his satirical take on these sordid times and shares how his early aspiration of being a politician shaped his political engagement—and rampant media consumption—in today’s climate. No spoilers, all...


Michael Steele Puts a 'Check on Stupid'

Michael Steele is probably not who you’d usually expect to be our guest, but these are unusual times. The former Republican National Committee chairman and lieutenant governor of Maryland—and the first African American elected to statewide office in Maryland—joined the pod this week to discuss the present chaos riddling the ranks of the conservative movement with President Donald Trump at the helm and how that disorder has impacted his efforts to motivate voters of color. In fact, he...


This Is Us: Valerie Jarrett, Mayor Michael Tubbs, and the Long Road to Progress

The pod is in New York City for the second annual Smart On Crime Innovations Conference—an annual convening to change the criminal justice system to be fairer and more just, comprehensive, and effective. Ed and Daniella were lucky to be joined by Valerie Jarrett, formerly the senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and Michael Tubbs, the 28-year-old mayor of Stockton, California. Mayor Tubbs offers his personal philosophy for how leadership at the local level can move the needle on...


BONUS EPISODE: Ambassador Wendy Sherman and the Decline of American Moral Authority

As the U.N. General Assembly kicks off this week, Daniella and Ed sat down with Ambassador Wendy Sherman—the former under secretary of state for political affairs and the first woman to hold that post—to reflect on the most recent diplomatic goings-on in North Korea and Iran and how this administration has hamstrung American leadership abroad. As the former lead negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal, Ambassador Sherman discusses her new book, "Not For The Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage,...


"Trump Is a Liar, and He Is Stupid": Dan Pfeiffer on Trump, Tweeting, and Political Climate Change

Dan Pfeiffer knows when to speak. As a former senior adviser and communications director for former President Barack Obama, Pfeiffer was once charged with shaping 44’s public voice and vision. Now, as a Pod Save America co-host and author of a new book, “Yes We (Still) Can,” Pfeiffer—like the rest of us—is still reckoning with how we went from the first black president to one that traffics in racism and fascism, and has white supremacists on his staff. He joined the pod this week to remind...


BONUS EPISODE: Jeffrey Toobin on Brett Kavanaugh’s #MeToo Moment

CNN’s Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins Daniella and Ed to discuss the new sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. They draw on the eerie parallels to Anita Hill’s experience back in 1991 and look at how today’s #MeToo Movement might a foretell a different outcome. They also digest the plea deal Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, made with the special counsel and break down what it all means for the president. Finally, they look at the...


Nayyera Haq: Are There Any Adults in the Room?

Nayyera Haq is asking the right questions. As a former White House and State Department official in the Obama administration, Haq knows what a functioning government looks like — and knows this isn’t it. In this episode, Haq taps her past life as a government official and joins Daniella and Ed to talk about the Trump administration’s foreign policy ethos (strategic pessimism), the anonymous New York Times op-ed (no big deal), and being a new parent (smelly). She also shares her thoughts on...


Jason Kander Goes Outside the Wire

Jason Kander is an army veteran, former secretary of state for Missouri, and founder of the voting rights advocacy group Let America Vote. In this episode, Daniella and Ed sit down with Kander to discuss his new book, "Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I've Learned in Everyday Courage," and his position as a progressive in a red state. Daniella breaks down the political ad that brought Jason into the national consciousness—or, at least, into her consciousness—and Ed laments the foregone fate...


Vanita Gupta: How Brett Kavanaugh Will Provide Cover for Trump

Vanita Gupta, former head of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joins Daniella and Ed for our second episode of Season Two to discuss Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the lack of transparency throughout his vetting process, and what listeners can do to say “no” to his confirmation. She also speaks to his threat to the Voting Rights Act, as well as why President Donald...


Clint Watts: The Biggest Enemy on Social Media Is the User

We're back for Season Two! On our first episode, former FBI special agent and counterterrorism expert Clint Watts joins Daniella and Ed to discuss the Russian disinformation campaign waged throughout the 2016 presidential election. He recounts how he researched for his new book—Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News—by engaging with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers on social media. The conversation also touches on what...


Season 2 – Coming September 6!

Thinking CAP is back Thursday, September 6, with two new co-hosts: Daniella Gibbs Léger, senior vice president for Communications and Strategy at the Center for American Progress, and Ed Chung, CAP vice president for Criminal Justice Reform. This season, they will tackle some of the biggest questions at play in our democracy with the biggest names in politics, comedy, sports, and activism. Season 2 will feature interviews with Clint Watts, a former FBI special agent for counterterrorism;...


Ending the War on Marijuana with Sen. Cory Booker and Weldon Angelos (LIVE from Washington D.C.)

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Weldon Angelos join Michele and Igor LIVE from Washington D.C. to discuss decriminalizing marijuana. Booker discusses his efforts in Congress to reform outdated federal marijuana policies that predominantly affect people of color, the drastic need for real sentencing reform, and the role activists must play to get this work done. Angelos shares his own experience with harsh marijuana laws—sentenced to 55 years for a first time offense. Booker also shares his...


BONUS EPISODE: Sharing the Mic on Gun Violence Prevention

Ryan Deitsch, a student activist from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and Dejuan Patterson, executive director of the BeMore Group, sit down with Michele and Igor to discuss efforts they are both taking to prevent gun violence and how we can prioritize perspectives from young people of color in the conversation. Patterson shares his personal experience with gun violence in Baltimore, when after he was robbed and shot in the head, the police presumed he was the...


Ben Rhodes on the End of American Leadership in the World

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser for President Obama and author of “The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House,” joins Michele Jawando and Mike Fuchs to reflect on his years as a top adviser to the president. Rhodes reacts to the backlash over family separations at the border and responds to claims that the Obama administration had a similar policy. He also reveals the self-doubt President Obama felt after Trump's election and why Obama worried his presidency...


BONUS EPISODE: New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy on Resisting Trump

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) joins Michele and Igor to discuss the progress his state has made—including passing equal pay and paid sick leave, pushing back against the GOP tax bill, and his decision to create a Cabinet as diverse as New Jersey—despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to dismantle progressive agendas. Also, Ben Olinsky, senior vice president of Policy and Strategy at CAP, joins to outline the Center’s big ideas for states, including overtime, a state Earned Income Tax...


Senator Richard Blumenthal's Take on Corruption

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) joins Michele and Igor to discuss why he's suing President Donald Trump for corruption, his concerns over the AT&T-Time Warner merger, and his thoughts on Trump's judicial nominees. Blumenthal also weighs in on Trump’s concession on joint military exercises in his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this week and explains why he thinks America and its allies aren't any safer after the summit.