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The “Ready, Aim, Fire Everyone!” Edition

Rational Security

Release Date: 04/09/2020

The The "Russia and Running Mates" Edition

Rational Security

Russia wants to “denigrate” Joe Biden and China would prefer Trump lose in November, viewing him as “unpredictable,” the nation’s top election security official says. An investigation by The New York Times raises questions about whether intelligence officials are softening their views on Russia to avoid upsetting Trump. And Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate. We look at her national security positions and how those issues will or won’t influence the 2020 campaign.

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The The "Dangerous Tweets" Edition

Rational Security

The Homeland Security Department compiles “intelligence reports” on protestors and journalists—including the tweets of our own Ben Wittes. Massive explosions in Beirut compound that country’s political and economic crises. And officials are increasingly warning about foreign interference in November’s election.

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The The "Barr, Portland, Pompeo, Camera, TV" Edition

Rational Security

Attorney General Bill Barr testifies before Congress—about a lot. State and federal officials negotiate how to remove federal forces from Portland amid continuing protests. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faces his own day on the Hill after a blistering report on State Department dysfunction.

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The The "Not-So-Secret Police" Edition

Rational Security

Federal officers descend on protestors in Portland, over the objections of state and local officials. Why did Trump choose this city, and what does he hope to gain from this expanding campaign of federal authority? And the U.S. hits back at Chinese spies, indicting two hackers and shuttering a consulate in Houston.

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The The "Tick Tock for TikTok" Edition

Rational Security

Chinese tech giants once again find themselves in the crosshairs of Western governments. The CIA has expanded its operations in cyberspace. And intelligence veterans warn that repairing the U.S. relationship with Russia is a fool’s errand.

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The The "Blob Bloblob" Edition

Rational Security

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.

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The The "Bounty Hunters" Edition

Rational Security

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.

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The The "Very Low Barr" Edition

Rational Security

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.

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"The Stache Strikes Back" Edition

Rational Security

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.

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The The "Day Late and a Dollar Short" Edition

Rational Security

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.

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More Episodes

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.