I used to think foreign policy was boring, complicated and irrelevant to my life. Then I served for four years as President Obama’s National Security Spokesman. The hours I spent in Situation Room meetings, traveling abroad, and talking with the brilliant men and women who advised President Obama was the most fascinating education I ever had. It was a crash course in foreign policy that taught me two things: anyone can understand these issues, and we all have an obligation to try.
On Pod Save the World, I’ll go behind the scenes with the people responsible for some of the most important foreign policy decisions of our time. We’ll geek out about the most important issues of the day, but talk like normal human beings. That means you’ll also hear cool stories, funny anecdotes and maybe a few F bombs. Episodes will come out every Friday.
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.
First, Tommy talks with author Peter Beinart about the controversy around Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's tweets, which many viewed as antisemitic. 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.
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.
Tommy talks with Anthony Faiola, the Washing 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.
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.