A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters hosted by Shane Harris of the Washington Post and featuring Brookings senior fellows Susan Henessey, Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Benjamin Wittes.
info_outline The 'No Way, Huawei' Edition 05/22/2019
The 'No Way, Huawei' Edition 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.
info_outline The 'Drumbeat of War' Edition 05/16/2019
The 'Drumbeat of War' Edition 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.
info_outline The "Privileged Executive" Edition 05/08/2019
The "Privileged Executive" Edition 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.
info_outline The “Eating Your Soul in Small Bites” Edition 05/02/2019
The “Eating Your Soul in Small Bites” Edition 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?
info_outline The "Calm Before the Storm" Edition 04/17/2019
The "Calm Before the Storm" Edition 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.
info_outline The "Purge" Edition 04/10/2019
The "Purge" Edition 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.
info_outline The "Mar-a-Lago Thumb Drive Lady" Edition 04/03/2019
The "Mar-a-Lago Thumb Drive Lady" Edition 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.
info_outline The "Still Waiting for the Mueller Report" Edition 03/28/2019
The "Still Waiting for the Mueller Report" Edition 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)?
info_outline The "Domestic is Global" Edition 03/20/2019
The "Domestic is Global" Edition The killing of 50 Muslims by a white supremacist in New Zealand prompts us to reconsider the meaning of domestic terrorism. The Pentagon identifies projects it will cut to pay for President Trump’s border wall. And the Trump administration revokes visas for investigators with the International Criminal Court.
info_outline The "Lock Him Up" Edition 03/14/2019
The "Lock Him Up" Edition Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is heading to prison, and facing new charges. If you thought the Arab Spring was over, think again. And a massage parlor owner with suspected links to the Chinese government was reportedly selling access to Trump’s private Florida resort.
info_outline The "Sensitive Compartmented Kushner" Edition 03/07/2019
The "Sensitive Compartmented Kushner" Edition Why does senior White House adviser Jared Kushner have a security clearance? President Trump comes back from a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un empty-handed. And the NSA has apparently stopped a controversial surveillance program that collected Americans’ phone records.
info_outline The “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!” Edition 02/28/2019
The “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!” Edition President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testifies to Congress. Adam Schiff signals he’s coming after all the Russia probe documents. And U.S. Cyber Command hits back at a Russian troll farm.
info_outline The "Peace and Legislation or War and Investigations" Edition 02/06/2019
The "Peace and Legislation or War and Investigations" Edition President Trump delivers his second State of the Union address. Meanwhile, prosecutors send a subpoena to Trump’s inaugural committee. And the president is feuding with his intelligence chiefs—again.
info_outline The "Uninvited Co-Conspirator" Edition 01/24/2019
The "Uninvited Co-Conspirator" Edition BuzzFeed drops a bomb that turns out to be more of a dud. Or is it? The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, could be doing more harm than good for his client. And Congress takes aim at the administration’s Russia-friendly policies.
info_outline The "Raising the Barr" Edition 01/17/2019
The "Raising the Barr" Edition Senators question attorney general-nominee Bill Barr over the Mueller probe. Two new stories shed more light on President Trump’s troubling relationship with Russia. And the president contemplated pulling out of NATO.
info_outline The "No One’s Shutting Us Down" Edition 01/10/2019
The "No One’s Shutting Us Down" Edition President Trump takes his pitch for border security to the American people in an Oval Office address. John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are on the road doing high stakes diplomacy, but do they actually speak for the president? And the latest in L’Affaire Russe—a Russian lawyer gets indicted and Paul Manafort was sharing polling data with his “Russian brain.”
info_outline The "New Year New You" Edition 01/03/2019
The "New Year New You" Edition How will a new Cabinet, and a new Congress, face the major national security challenges of 2019? An American businessman is arrested in Russia and charged with espionage. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren is exploring a run for the White House. We’ll take a look at her foreign policy proposals.
info_outline The "Smocking Gun" Edition 12/13/2018
The "Smocking Gun" Edition There have been big moves in the Russia investigation. We'll put this week’s pieces together. U.S. tensions with China escalate following the arrest of a senior Chinese telecom executive. And the Saudi crown prince has duped White House adviser Jared Kushner.
info_outline The “Very Legal and Very Cool” Edition 12/06/2018
The “Very Legal and Very Cool” Edition Robert Mueller says that Michael Flynn has cooperated extensively in multiple investigations, including about Russian interference in the election. A new guilty plea from Michael Cohen changes our understanding of Trump’s ties to Russia. And is Israel getting ready for a war or just an election?
info_outline “The World is a Very Dangerous Place!” Edition 11/29/2018
“The World is a Very Dangerous Place!” Edition Paul Manafort heads to sentencing amid revelations that he has lied to the special counsel, cooperated with Trump’s legal team, and may have met with Julian Assange. The president stands by Saudi Arabia and its crown prince whom the CIA says ordered the murder of a journalist. And President Trump heads off to meet with world leaders at the G20 Summit.
info_outline The "Cocoon of Bitterness and Resentment" Edition 11/15/2018
The "Cocoon of Bitterness and Resentment" Edition Battle lines are drawn over Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general. President Trump, stung by election losses, picks fights with America’s closest allies. And is North Korea deceiving the U.S. in nuclear weapons negotiations?
info_outline The "Every Day Feels Like Halloween" Edition 11/01/2018
The "Every Day Feels Like Halloween" Edition Attempted bombings and a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue once again force us to confront domestic terrorism. Top U.S. officials call for a ceasefire and peace talks in Yemen. And a bizarre and apparently fake attempt to spear Special Counsel Robert Mueller prompts an FBI investigation.
info_outline The "Rogue Killers" Edition 10/18/2018
The "Rogue Killers" Edition The disappearance of a Washington Post journalist becomes a foreign policy crisis for the Trump administration. U.S. and European intelligence officials say Iran may be planning attacks in Europe. And the U.S. embraces a major expansion in foreign aid to counter China’s growing influence.