By The Intercept

Each week The Intercept’s Washington, D.C. bureau brings you one important or overlooked story from the political world. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim and a rotating cast of journalists, politicians, academics and historians tell you what the rest of the media are missing.

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Understanding the Silicon Valley Bank Run

In a matter of a few days, Silicon Valley Bank collapsed when a panic set in, causing a run on deposits. “The blue chip VCs suggested something, then that leaked to other ones, then other ones — we had all our investors calling us and basically demanding we pull our cash,” one source told Ryan Grim. This week on Deconstructed, Grim is joined by Damon Silvers, who has been involved in trying to prevent financial fraud and crisis for more than 20 years. He was the deputy chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the 2008 bank bailout, and was formerly the policy director of the AFL-CIO.Grim and Silver discuss what led to a rush of Silicon Valley Bank depositors withdrawing all at once, the subsequent fallout, how the weakening of Dodd–Frank in 2018 paved the way for the current banking crisis, and what reforms are needed to prevent a future and even bigger economic catastrophe.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/03/23·35m 22s

Ending the Hidden Occupation

This week, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., brought forward a war powers resolution, backed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, that would bring U.S. troops home from Syria. On Wednesday night, the resolution was rejected by Democrats and Republicans alike. During the debate, some advocated for an endless occupation, while their arguments unwittingly made the point that the U.S. government may not be the best group to solve the crisis. This week on Deconstructed, Ryan Grim is joined by Robert Ford, who was President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Syria up until 2014. Although he was known inside the White House as a hawkish supporter of arming the Syrian opposition, this week he came out in support of Gaetz’s resolution to pull out U.S. troops. Ford describes some of the political maneuvering and behind-the-scenes conversations taking place in 2013 and why he is calling to remove U.S. troops from Syria.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/03/23·35m 8s

Win Debates Like Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan’s debates tend to go viral, like those against John Bolton, Erik Prince, or a Saudi ambassador. Hasan wipes the floor during debates and interviews. But it’s not an easy process; as Hasan says, it requires a lot of preparation. In “Win Every Argument: The Art of Debating, Persuading, and Public Speaking,” Hasan outlines the best ways to win debates against all sorts of opponents. This week on Deconstructed, Ryan Grim is joined by Hasan, where they discuss some of his greatest viral debate clips, along with helpful tips to win debates.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/03/23·45m 46s

How Progressive Democrats Were Railroaded in the Primaries by AIPAC and Allied Groups

This week on Deconstructed, host Ryan Grim revisits his reporting on how the Democratic Majority for Israel, Mainstream Democrats PAC, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent so much money on the politics of Israel that the question of Israel-Palestine now dominates Democratic primaries.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/23·1h 18m

The Villages Crush a Grassroots Revolt

In 2019, residents of The Villages, an iconic retirement community in Florida, were suddenly hit with a 25 percent hike in their property taxes. In the master-planned community of 130,000 across the state’s Sumter, Lake, and Marion counties, many residents are on fixed incomes. The tax hikes were intended to subsidize new developments south of the community, rather than cover new amenities or upgrades for current residents. The entity known locally either as “the developer” or “the family” benefited from the tax hike and could then escape paying fees associated with the expansion of their development. This week on Deconstructed, host Ryan Grim takes us to The Villages to meet residents who banded together to rollback the tax hike but who were ultimately blocked by powerful players. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the local political machine run by The Villages fought the residents, leading to one of their champions being thrown in jail.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/02/23·33m 38s

How the FBI Infiltrated Racial Justice Protests in 2020

As the racial justice movement was heating up in 2020, a new “activist” arrived on the scene in Denver, Colorado. The man, who looks like a biker, is named Michael Adam Windecker II. He was able to make his way into the Denver racial justice activists’ inner circle and eventually began helping organize protests. He also attempted to involve some of the activists in criminal activity, like a plot to assassinate the state attorney general. But Windecker was not an activist; he was a fed. This week on Deconstructed, investigative reporter and Intercept contributor Trevor Aaronson joins host Ryan Grim to discuss Windecker’s story. Aaronson and Grim discuss the FBI’s approach to the racial justice uprising in 2020, the FBI’s infiltration of Black activist groups, and how the FBI’s use of informants may create crime rather than prevent it. Aaronson is the host of the new podcast “Alphabet Boys,” which chronicles the story of Windecker’s infiltration of the movement. If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/02/23·41m 55s

Tema Okun on Her Mythical Paper on White Supremacy

“White Supremacy Culture,” an article by Tema Okun, was first written to outline and analyze how white supremacy operates in organizations. But in the past few years, with renewed attention on the racial justice movement, the short article has been used as a weapon within progressive organizations and by the right. As organizational infighting continues, many have used the article as a way to claim that basic elements of organizational life — editing, performance reviews, deadlines, urgency, the written word, perfectionism, etc. — are actually all characteristics of white supremacy culture. This week on Deconstructed, Tema Okun joins host Ryan Grim to discuss her article, its evolution, and its misuse, speaking out for the first time against its weaponization. Okun breaks down the history of her article, how it has been used in ways she did not intend, and what the true intention of the piece is. If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/02/23·45m 16s

Biden’s New Chief of Staff Might Be Very Bad News

President Joe Biden is naming Jeff Zients to be his next chief of staff. Zients, a corporate Democrat, was previously in the White House helping steer its pandemic response and leading vaccination efforts. Previously, Zients helped oversee two health care companies embroiled in Medicare and Medicaid fraud allegations, which they paid tens of millions to settle. This week on Deconstructed, Intercept reporter Daniel Boguslaw and The American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner join Ryan Grim to discuss Zients’s past in the world of for-profit health care. Zients is also a former Facebook board member, worrying progressives pushing for the administration to rein in Silicon Valley. If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/01/23·18m 41s

The Hidden Siege of Nagorno-Karabakh

Russia brokered a cease-fire agreement in 2020 between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The two were engaged in a bloody six-week war, the deadliest in the region in decades. Conflict between the two countries has recently escalated again. Azerbaijan set up a blockade of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, causing a shortage in food, medicine, and energy. The roughly 120,000 people who live there are at increasing risk of famine. To break down the situation, Ryan Grim is joined by freelance journalists Joshua Kucera, Lilit Shahverdyan, and Alison Tahmizian who cover the area.If you’d like to support our work, go to, where your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference.And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show so you can hear it every week. And please go and leave us a rating or a review — it helps people find the show. If you want to give us additional feedback, email us at  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/01/23·33m 27s

It’s Important to Talk Openly About Suicide

Ten years ago this week, Aaron Swartz, a key figure in the fight for an open internet, died by suicide. This week we also learned of the tragic death of New York Times journalist Blake Hounshell, whose death is being investigated by police as a suicide. His family said in a statement, “It is with great sorrow that we have to inform you that Blake has suddenly died this morning after a long and courageous battle with depression.” A gofundme has been set up for Blake’s wife and two children. Ryan Grim speaks to Jason Cherkis, who’s writing a book on suicide prevention and is the author of the groundbreaking article at HuffPost Highline titled “The Best Way to Save People From Suicide."The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers 24-hour support for those experiencing difficulties or those close to them, by chat or by telephone at 988. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/01/23·42m 25s

Israel’s Rightward Turn

Last week Israel inaugurated the most right-wing government in its history, with the country’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the helm once again. Avner Gvaryahu of the group Breaking the Silence, which collects testimonies of Israeli soldiers about their experiences in the occupied territories, joins Ryan Grim to discuss his country’s latest political turn. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/01/23·39m 17s

What We Found in the New JFK Files

Last week, the Biden administration declassified a trove of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While this action brings the government closer to the full disclosure of relevant files mandated by a 1992 law, it still keeps the most sensitive records secret. Jefferson Morley, author and editor of the "JFK Facts" Substack, joins Ryan Grim to discuss the latest disclosures. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/12/22·29m 23s

Inside the Fight for Climate Justice

The new documentary “To the End” takes viewers behind the nationwide organizing efforts that culminated in the landmark climate provisions of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. The film focuses on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activist Varshini Prakash, climate policy writer Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and political strategist Alexandra Rojas as they push to keep climate at the top of the national agenda. Ryan Grim talks with the film’s director, Rachel Lears. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/12/22·28m 30s

How Purple is Georgia?

This week’s Georgia Senate runoff gives Democrats a 51-49 majority in the upper chamber. Raphael Warnock raised a staggering $175 million this cycle to take on former football star Herschel Walker, all of which translated into a relatively slim 3 percentage point victory on election day. Georgia Republican political operative Brian Robinson and Intercept contributor George Chidi join Ryan Grim to discuss the election. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/12/22·34m 8s

Philly’s Reform Prosecutor Reacts to His Impeachment

Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania state House voted to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, citing the “catastrophic consequences” of his reform-minded approach to the office. The Intercept’s Akela Lacy spoke with Krasner about the impeachment, the state of crime and criminal justice in the city, and his record as district attorney. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/22·38m 12s

The Data Guy Who Got the Midterms Right

How is it that Democrats were able to buck historical trends and avoid the kind of midterms massacre traditionally suffered by the party in power? And why did so many election forecasts miss the mark? Ryan Grim talks with Tom Bonier of Democratic data firm TargetSmart about what the media got wrong in 2022. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/11/22·42m 18s

Bonfire of the Twitterverse

This week Elon Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum: commit to a new, “hardcore” workplace culture of “long hours at high intensity,” or get out. Jon Schwarz talks with Bloomberg reporter Mike Leonard about how Musk is trying to squeeze profit out of the company and whether he’s likely to succeed. Then, Jon and fellow Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein discuss how Twitter has enriched their journalistic lives. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/11/22·44m 21s

AOC and Mo Mitchell on the Midterms

On Tuesday, Democrats miraculously avoided the sort of major rout at the polls normally associated with a new president’s first midterms. Most surprisingly, Democrats still have a narrow path to maintain control of the House of Representatives if a few outstanding races swing their way. That path would be even wider if not for a disappointing set of losses in New York. Ryan Grim speaks with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and to Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, about what went wrong in the state. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/11/22·54m 1s

For Abortion Rights, Could Kentucky Be the Next Kansas?

In August, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have removed abortion rights from the state’s constitution. In a few days, voters in Kentucky will weigh in on a similar measure that will decide the future of abortion in that state. Jazmin Smith and Robert Kahne, co-hosts of the "My Old Kentucky" podcast, which covers Kentucky politics, join Ryan Grim to discuss how the vote is likely to unfold. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/11/22·34m 22s

Can a Progressive Populist Win in Trump Country?

The race for Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District pits Rep. Matt Cartwright, a populist Democrat, against Jim Bognet, a Trump-endorsed Republican. The district is one of a small handful nationwide that voted for Donald Trump in 2020 while electing a Democrat to the House of Representatives; it’s now a test case for whether a progressive candidate can win over enough Trump voters to prevail in a swing district in 2022. One such Trump voter is John Petrizzo, a local restaurant owner who’s supporting Cartwright this November. Petrizzo joins Ryan Grim to discuss the peculiar politics of the 8th District. The two are also joined by Rachel Bovard, senior director at the Conservative Partnership Institute. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/10/22·50m 15s

How Democrats Botched Impeachment

In their new book “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress's Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump,” reporters Karoun Demirjian and Rachael Bade lay out how Democrats put political self-preservation ahead of a genuine effort to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his abuses of power. The authors join Ryan Grim to discuss the missed opportunities and historical what-ifs of Trump's two impeachments. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/10/22·34m 10s

Senate Races That Could Tip The Balance

The last two times a new president confronted his first midterm election, it turned out to be a wave year for the opposition party. 2022 is confounding that pattern, with Democrats slightly favored to hold the Senate and Republicans slightly favored to take the House. Journalists Jon Ralston and George Chidi join Ryan Grim to discuss two potentially pivotal states, Nevada and Georgia, where tight races for the Senate are underway. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/10/22·50m 19s

The Journalist Censored for Defending Rashida Tlaib

“I want you all to know that among progressives, it has become clear that you cannot claim to hold progressive values yet back Israel’s apartheid government.” Those words, spoken by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., at a Palestine Advocacy Day event, created a firestorm within the Democratic Party last month. When journalist Katie Halper decided to discuss the comments in one of her regular editorials for Hill TV’s “Rising,” she had no idea that she was about to ignite a firestorm of her own. Ryan Grim and Jacobin writer Branko Marcetic join Halper to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/10/22·45m 34s

Bolsonaro on the Brink as the Far Right Rises in Europe

This Sunday, Brazilian voters head to the polls to decide between incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Earlier this week in Italy, Giorgia Meloni of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party won election as prime minister on an anti-immigration platform. Academic and translator Arthur Goldhammer joins Ryan Grim to discuss the Italian election. Then Grim is joined by Brazilian sociologist Sabrina Fernandes, who breaks down the election in her country. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/09/22·59m 33s

Is Crypto a Big Scam?

Last week, the White House released a proposed framework for the regulation of cryptocurrency. The document gives the green light to regulators to continue crafting rules around the industry, and even explores the creation of a “CBDC”: a central bank digital currency. Actor, writer, and crypto skeptic Ben McKenzie joins Ryan Grim to discuss the framework and the future (or lack thereof) of the crypto industry. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/09/22·48m 56s

When the Uneasy Democratic Coalition Shares a Neighborhood

When Helena Andrews-Dyer joined a local mom group in her gentrifying Washington, D.C., neighborhood, she found that being one of the only Black mothers in the mix gave her a new outlook on race and motherhood. In her new book, “The Mamas,” she chronicles the socioeconomic and racial tensions lurking beneath the surface of her relationships with white liberal parents. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/09/22·44m 12s

Democrats Could Codify Roe

If Democrats can add a single seat in the Senate and hold their majority in the House in the midterm elections, they could actually write Roe v. Wade into law. Tom Bonier is a data analyst who dives deep on the shocking surge of women registering to vote in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision. Brandi Calvert is a Kansas real estate agent who became a key leader in the fight to defend abortion rights in Kansas. Ryan Grim talks to both about this new women's march to the polls. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/09/22·38m 4s

Aboard the Trump Train

January 6 committee hearings are expected to resume in September. This week’s guest, documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, was subpoenaed by the House select committee in June to hand over any raw footage his team filmed on January 6, 2021, and all interviews conducted during filmmaking of former President Donald Trump, his family members, and then-Vice President Mike Pence. Ryan Grim talks to Holder about his new docuseries, “Unprecedented,” on Discovery+ that follows Trump and his family campaigning during the 2020 election and the days leading up to January 6. To support our work visit: Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/09/22·37m 30s

What’s It Like to Be a Red-State Abortion Doctor Post-Roe?

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the precedents set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which established the right to abortion in the U.S., has created a chaotic legal situation as conservative states rush to ban the procedure. On this week’s show, Vanessa A. Bee talks with Idaho physician Caitlin Gustafson, an advocate with Physicians for Reproductive Health, and University of Pittsburgh Law School professor Greer Donley about the future of abortion in red-state America. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/08/22·29m 1s

A Progressive Vision for the Economy

Since it was founded 23 years ago, the Center for Economic and Policy Research has sought to challenge the right-wing consensus that often rules economic policymaking in Washington, D.C. CEPR co-founder Dean Baker joins Jon Schwarz to discuss his career, his thoughts on the Biden economy, and his ideas for the future. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/08/22·45m 59s

Biomedical Racism, Queer Theory, and the Monkeypox Epidemic

By the time the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in response to monkeypox last week, there were already nearly 7,000 cases in the U.S. Microbiologist Joseph Osmundson joins The Intercept’s Maia Hibbett to discuss the failings of U.S. medical infrastructure in confronting this latest viral epidemic. They also discuss his book "Virology: Essays for the Living, the Dead, and the Small Things in Between," which uses queer theory to shed a novel light on our understanding of the viruses that shape our lives. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/08/22·39m 13s

Progressives on Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit and US-China Policy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi< landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, ending speculation about whether she would visit the island during her tour of east Asia. Political reactions in the U.S. have been divided, particularly among progressives. Tobita Chow of Justice is Global and Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders, join Intercept reporter Mara Hvistendahl to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/08/22·50m 57s

Behind the Manchin Miracle

On Wednesday evening, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., put out a joint statement announcing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The more than 700-page bill the two came to terms on includes $369 billion for “energy security and climate change.” If it passes, that substantial level of investment is projected to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2030 by 40 percent. “An initial review of the agreement indicates that this will mark a historic direct investment in renewable energy and will unleash hundreds of billions of private investment for moonshot projects,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told Ryan Grim after the deal was announced.Khanna has spent months working with Manchin to keep him in talks. The bill also includes a 15 percent corporate minimum tax on companies with profits of more than $1 billion a year; $80 billion over 10 years for IRS tax enforcement; and an expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies. Khanna joins Grim to discuss the negotiations and the significance of the bill.If you’d like to support our work, go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/07/22·28m 5s

What We May Never Know About Jan. 6

This week’s hearing of the House Select Committee on the January 6, 2021, attack revealed embarrassing new details about President Donald Trump and his supporters, including footage of Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., fleeing the U.S. Capitol moments after encouraging the rioters. The hearings have undoubtedly been good TV, but what have they added to our substantive understanding of the legal questions surrounding Trump’s conduct? Washington Editor Nausicaa Renner talks with Intercept reporters Ken Klippenstein and Rob Mackey about the hearings. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/07/22·39m 41s

Vietnam to the Contras: The Life and Journalism of Robert Parry

A new collection of work by the late investigative reporter Robert Parry, titled “American Dispatches,” chronicles the late journalist’s career, from his origins as a student activist to his later reporting on corruption and wrongdoing at the highest heights of government. Parry’s son Nat, who edited the book, joins Jon Schwarz to discuss his father’s life and work. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/07/22·49m 55s

Why Jason Kander Walked Away From Politics

Former Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander was in the middle of a promising run for mayor of Kansas City when he unexpectedly dropped out of the race to seek treatment for mental health problems he was experiencing as a consequence of his time in Afghanistan. In a new book, “Invisible Storm: A Soldier's Memoir of Politics and PTSD,” Kander explains how he finally realized that he needed help — and how that realization led him to a whole new life. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/07/22·54m 17s

How the Democrats Forgot the New Deal and Paved the Way for Trumpism

In Robert Kuttner’s new book, “Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy,” he explains how we got to our present political inflection point, how high the stakes are, and what comes next. Kuttner — who co-founded the Economic Policy Institute as well as The American Prospect — joins Jon Schwarz to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/07/22·47m 6s

The Colombian Left Comes to Power

After this week’s runoff elections in Colombia, former Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro is set to become the South American country’s first leftist president. Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli, director for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America, joins Ryan Grim to discuss what Petro’s election means and how it happened. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/06/22·33m 30s

The Implosion of Progressive Organizing

In the Biden era, progressive groups in Washington have increasingly found themselves paralyzed by internal tumult at the very moment when their efforts are needed to push the more ambitious elements of the president’s agenda through Congress. Behind the scenes, the leaders of these groups express frustration with the organizational culture wrought by their younger employees and fear of becoming embroiled in a “callout” scandal. Ryan Grim talks with The Intercept’s Nausicaa Renner about his new story on the subject. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/06/22·38m 1s

Revisiting the Capitol Insurrection

This week the select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the capitol began hearings. We thought this would be a good time to revisit the interviews we did after January 6th, 2021. First, Ryan spoke with photographer Jon Farina and reporter Matt Fuller, who were reporting from inside the Capitol that day. Then he spoke to Rep. Pramila Jayapal about her experiences during the attack. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/06/22·49m 47s

Can Democrats Win in Rural America?

In her new book, “Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends On It,” Maine state Sen. Chloe Maxmin tackles one of the most pressing problems confronting the modern Democratic Party: how to reverse its decadeslong backslide in rural support. Maxmin and her co-author and campaign manager Canyon Woodward join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/06/22·52m 30s

Elizabeth Warren and Lori Wallach on the Solar War With China

In March, the Commerce Department announced that it would be investigating Chinese solar firms suspected of illegally dumping low-cost panels onto the international market. Some of the same companies are also suspected of employing Uyghur forced labor in making their products. That announcement has gotten <a href="">pushback</a> from even President Joe Biden’s close allies, who worry that new tariffs on Chinese solar imports will harm the U.S. solar industry. Ryan gets Senator Elizabeth Warren's thoughts on the trade war, then talks with Lori Wallach, director of Rethink Trade at the American Economic Liberties Project. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/05/22·35m 10s

Pennsylvania Surges Left at the Polls

Progressive Democrats scored a number of high-profile wins in the Pennsylvania primaries this week. State Rep. Summer Lee seems poised to win her race in the blue-leaning 12th District and become the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress; meanwhile, Izzy Smith-Wade-El, associated with the grassroots group Lancaster Stands Up in southern Pennsylvania, won his Democratic primary for a seat in the state legislature. Smith-Wade-El joins Ryan Grim to talk about what Pennsylvania’s apparent left-wing surge means for the midterms. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/05/22·57m 49s

The U.S. Is Stealing Afghanistan's Money and Starving Its People

As their country’s economic crisis continues to spiral out of control, Afghans are finding themselves forced to resort to increasingly desperate measures just to get enough food for their families. The crisis is driven by the US refusal to release frozen Afghan central bank reserves, a measure that might restore some semblance of normalcy to the economy. Afghan journalist Masood Shnizai rejoins the podcast to discuss the situation in his country. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/05/22·40m 9s

The Lab-Leak Theory Is Looking Stronger by the Day. Here's What We Know.

In the early days of the pandemic, the theory that Covid-19 may have originated in a virology lab was often dismissed as a xenophobic right-wing conspiracy theory. Over the intervening months and years, new information has cast a different light on the idea. Reporters Katherine Eban, Mara Hvistendahl, and Sharon Lerner join Ryan Grim to discuss the lab-leak theory. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/05/22·1h 6m

Re-Broadcast: Ilyse Hogue on the Roots of the Movement to Overturn Roe

Earlier this evening, Politico reported on what appears to be a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court striking down Roe V. Wade. In light of the news, we're re-running our interview with Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice from October 2020. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/05/22·25m 47s

Steven Donziger vs. Big Oil

This week, after nearly 1,000 days of arbitrary detention, the environmental and human rights lawyer Steven Donziger was released from house arrest. On this week’s podcast, Donziger talks to Intercept investigative reporter Sharon Lerner and Ryan Grim about his <a href="">decadelong legal battle</a> with Chevron over land contamination in Ecuador. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/04/22·53m 15s

On the Road With Bernie Sanders

As deputy campaign manager for Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential run, Ari Rabin-Havt got an intimate look at the daily life of the independent senator from Vermont. Now he’s chronicled those experiences in a new book, “The Fighting Soul: On the Road With Bernie Sanders.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/04/22·1h 10m

Mackenzie Fierceton On Her Battle With UPenn

In 2020, former foster child Mackenzie Fierceton received a Rhodes Scholarship as a self-identified “first generation, low income” student at the University of Pennsylvania. But the acclaim quickly devolved into acrimony as the university and the Rhodes Trust began questioning aspects of Fierceton’s backstory. The battle between her and the school was chronicled by Rachel Aviv in the New Yorker earlier this month. Fierceton joins Ryan Grim to discuss the saga of her battle with UPenn and why the Ivy League institution seems to have so much trouble recognizing the complexity of poverty in America. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/04/22·56m 48s

A Truce In Yemen

The Yemen cease-fire, which took effect last week, is the first serious truce between the country's warring parties in six years. The factions in Yemen agreed to a two-month truce proposed by the United Nations. And on Thursday, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s exiled president, said he would transfer power to an eight-member presidential council, suggesting progress in ending the war. All of this comes on the heels of a new Yemen War Powers Resolution — announced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. — to end U.S. involvement in the war. Hassan El-Tayyab, the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s legislative director for Middle East policy, joins Ryan Grim to discuss the cease-fire, efforts to end the war in Yemen, factors at play, and the likelihood of finally seeing an end to the war and humanitarian crisis in the country. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/04/22·28m 12s

David Sirota Goes to the Oscars

David Sirota went from advising Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2020 presidential campaign to co-developing the story for Adam McKay’s film “Don’t Look Up,” which was nominated for — among other things — the Academy Award for best picture. It didn’t win, but Sirota was in Hollywood for the big night. He joins Ryan Grim to discuss why Hollywood is so averse to political films, the difficulty of generating interest in the climate crisis, and, yes, the slap. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/04/22·54m 52s

Joe Manchin Has Some Thoughts on Green Energy

The Biden administration is drafting an executive order to invoke the Defense Production Act to develop green energy storage technology — an essential element for a clean energy future. The war in Ukraine and soaring oil and gas prices have renewed conversations in Washington about passing a major clean energy package. Recently at CERAWeek, a major energy conference, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin shared his views on what he would and would not support. Ryan Grim and Duchuy Huynh, CEO and director at Green Cooling Tower Solutions, unpack Manchin’s thoughts on transitioning to clean energy. They also discuss the present state of clean energy technology and what’s needed to fully bring about a green energy future and displace fossil fuels. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/03/22·46m 47s

Are Prices "Engines of Chaos"?

In standard economic theory, prices are simply expressions of information about the scarcity of (and demand for) goods. But in his new book “Price Wars: How the Commodities Markets Made Our Chaotic World,” writer and filmmaker Rupert Russell argues that the modern era of algorithm-driven speculation has normalized unpredictable price swings in commodity markets and turned prices into “engines of chaos.” Russell joins Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/03/22·53m 27s

Don’t Cry for Me, Hydrocarbons

The CERAWeek conference took place this week in Houston. CERAWeek is an annual gathering of major players in the energy sector; CEOs, government officials, and financiers are among the conference's attendees. The major theme this year, of course, was the effect of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global oil and gas markets — in particular, President Joe Biden’s announcement Tuesday that the U.S. would move to ban imports of Russian oil. The New Republic’s Kate Aronoff was there in Houston to witness the conference. She joins Ryan Grim to discuss what she saw and heard, including — yes, actually — a Broadway song parody titled “Don’t Cry for Me, Hydrocarbons.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/03/22·39m 18s

The War Over Ukrainian History and Identity

“Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us,” declared Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. “It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.” This conception of Ukrainian history forms the bedrock of Putin’s justification for invading the former Soviet republic, independent since 1991. On this week’s podcast, Ryan Grim talks with Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko about his country’s history, from the Dark Ages up the current war. They discuss Ukraine’s history of anarchist politics, the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution that toppled pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych, and the tangled question of modern Ukrainian identity. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/03/22·52m 19s

Murderville, TX: Episode 2, The Cops

Crime is surging in Houston, and homicide detectives are given free rein as they race to close cases. Investigators are certain that Charles Raby is guilty of Edna Franklin’s murder — and that DNA evidence will prove it. But once Charles confesses, the forensic investigation stops.Murderville, an investigative podcast hosted by senior Intercept reporters Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith, examines the systemic failures that lead to wrongful convictions. Season Two takes Segura and Smith to the death penalty capital of the country, Harris County, Texas, where they investigate a disturbing crime, a startling confession, and a story that doesn’t add up. To follow the series, subscribe to Murderville wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more at you’d like to support our work, go to — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/02/22·33m 59s

The Case for Expanding Social Security

The proposed Social Security 2100 Act would bolster the nearly century-old social insurance program through additions like caregiver credits and increased minimum benefits. Connecticut Rep. John Larson, the architect of the plan, joins Intercept reporters Ryan Grim and Jon Schwarz to discuss why he thinks an expansion of Social Security is overdue. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/02/22·40m 57s

Gas Price Politics And Genocide Collide In Yemen

In the waning hours of his presidency, Donald Trump issued an order designating the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist organization; one of Joe Biden’s first actions upon taking office was to reverse that designation. Now, under pressure from the United Arab Emirates, he may be having second thoughts. Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein and Michigan State University assistant professor Shireen Al-Adeimi join Ryan Grim to discuss the potential consequences of restoring Trump’s last-minute order. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/02/22·40m 46s

Dignity in a Digital Age, With Ro Khanna

In his new book, congressman Ro Khanna tackles the question of how the prosperity generated by technology can be more broadly shared. In the foreword, Indian economist Amartya Sen writes “just as people can move to technology, technology can move to people. People need not be compelled to move from one place to another to reap the benefits offered by technological progress”. Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley in Congress, joins Ryan Grim to discuss the book and more. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/02/22·46m 2s

Introducing Murderville, Texas

Murderville, an investigative podcast hosted by senior Intercept reporters Liliana Segura and Jordan Smith, examines the systemic failures that lead to wrongful convictions. Season Two takes Segura and Smith to the death penalty capital of the country, Harris County, Texas, where they investigate a disturbing crime, a startling confession, and a story that doesn’t add up. To follow the series, subscribe to Murderville at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Learn more at you’d like to support our work, go to — your donation, no matter what the amount, makes a real difference. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/02/22·34m 57s

Haiti, Smedley Butler, and the Rise of American Empire

“I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism." So declared famed Marine Corps officer Smedley Butler in 1935, at the end of a long career spent blazing a path for American interests in Cuba, Nicaragua, China, The Philippines, Panama, and Haiti. In a new book on Butler’s career, Gangsters of Capitalism, Jonathan Katz details Butler’s life and explains how it dovetails with the broader story of American empire at the turn of the century. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/01/22·1h 27m

Is Biden in the Midst of a World Historic Crime Against Humanity?

The normally reserved International Committee of the Red Cross recently made a surprisingly direct statement about the unfolding economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. They said, “Can the international community” — meaning the U.S. — “hold 39 million people hostage to the fact that they do not want to recognise the authorities that are now in place in Kabul and in Afghanistan?”Masood Shnizai is a journalist based in Kabul, Afghanistan. He joins Ryan Grim to discuss the <a href="">devastating effects</a> of the <a href="">ongoing U.S. sanctions</a>, and why the calls for help seem to be falling on deaf ears in the Biden administration. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/22·36m 56s

The Life and Legacy of Harry Reid

Former senate majority leader Harry Reid died on December 28th at the age of 82. Reid, who was born into extreme poverty in Nevada in 1939, rose to become one of the most influential politicians in the modern Democratic party. Three of his former aides, Kristen Orthman, Faiz Shakir, and Ari Rabin-Havt, join Ryan Grim to discuss Reid’s life and impact on American politics. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/01/22·59m 48s

A New Way To Think About Medicare

Introduced during the Trump administration, “direct contracting” is a Medicare payment model that allows private medical practices and insurance companies to arrange set payments from Medicare for the year, rather than bill the administration for services. But critics warn that the system, which has continued under the Biden administration, is being exploited by venture capitalists. Merrill Goozner is a health care reporter who has spent decades covering the slow-moving crisis of American healthcare, and he joins to Ryan Grim to discuss the present and possible future of Medicare. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/12/21·54m 20s

Congress Caves To Saudi Arabia On Yemen War

This week the senate voted down a resolution that would have blocked a defensive weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. The measure attracted support from senators of both parties for its potential to pressure the Saudis to end the war in Yemen. Intercept reporters Sara Sirota and Ken Klippenstein join Ryan Grim to discuss what the politics surrounding Saudi Arabia look like with a democrat back in the White House. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/12/21·33m 25s

Greening Red America: Breaking Down Build Back Better’s Climate Ag Policy

The Build Back Better Act is one of the biggest and most complicated pieces of spending legislation in American history. If it becomes law, it will be (among other things) the biggest investment in climate mitigation ever made. So what does it actually do on the climate front? Eric Deeble from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition joins Ryan Grim to discuss the bill’s climate and agriculture provisions. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/12/21·43m 31s

A Giving Tuesday Message

Head to to donate today. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/11/21·3m 32s

Rewriting History

Historians tend to frown on the practice of imagining “alternate histories”. Two people who don’t are Danny Bessner and Matt Christman, hosts of the new podcast “Hinge Points.” On each episode, they take an historical “hinge” moment and ask, could it have been different? What if, for example, the German Social Democrats had not fallen in line behind the march to war in 1914? Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/11/21·44m 1s

Truth and Reconciliation

Much of President Biden’s agenda rests on the minutiae of Senate rules and parliamentary procedures; this has led to a renewed interest in the obscure but enormously consequential role of the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough. An unelected official, she nonetheless has an extraordinary amount of influence over the current budget negotiations. Ari Rabin-Havt, former deputy campaign manager to Bernie Sanders, joins Ryan Grim to discuss the parliamentarian’s role in the legislative process. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/11/21·1h 7m

If Biden Wants to Build Back Better, He Should Look to Obama’s Mistakes

The fallout from the 2008 financial crisis has defined national politics ever since. If he wants his “Build Back Better” agenda to have a chance of success, argues journalist and political commentator David Sirota in his new podcast Meltdown, he’ll have to take the lessons of the last twelve years seriously. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/11/21·53m 23s

Jamaal Bowman on His First Year in Congress

Three days after he was sworn in to his first term as a U.S. congressman, Jamaal Bowman watched as the Capitol was stormed by a Trump-incited mob. It was the start of a very eventful year on the Hill. Bowman joins Ryan Grim to discuss his first 10 months in congress and the battle over President Biden's budget reconciliation bill. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/10/21·34m 8s

Ro Khanna on Reconciliation

As the negotiations over President Biden’s sweeping budget reconciliation bill drag on, Democrats are struggling to find a set of compromises that will satisfy congressional progressives while still securing the votes of intransigent senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. California representative Ro Khanna, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, joins Ryan Grim to discuss the state of play. Then, investigative reporter Dan Boguslaw talks about his recent reporting for the Intercept on Senator Manchin’s coal entanglements in West Virginia. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/10/21·47m 16s

Michael Isikoff on Julian Assange and Monica Lewinsky

As the US continues to pursue Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition from the UK, an explosive story from Yahoo News has revealed that top officials including the then CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed extraditing and even assassinating him. Michael Isikoff, one of the reporters on that story, joins Ryan Grim to discuss Assange’s fate as well as his recent portrayal in the FX show American Crime Story, which dramatizes his role in the revelation of the Monica Lewinsky affair. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/10/21·43m 59s

Facebook's Very Bad Week Just Got Worse

On Sunday, a former Facebook data scientist went on 60 Minutes to accuse the company of defrauding its advertising customers and deliberately engineering social division and ethnic strife. Then on Monday, the entire Facebook product family went offline for six hours: Instagram, Whatsapp, and of course itself.Then on Wednesday, big tech critic and antitrust advocate Jonathan Kanter got a highly favorable reception from the Senate Commerce Subcommittee, suggesting that he will likely be confirmed as head of the antitrust division at the Justice Department. So where does all this leave Zuckerberg, Inc.? Conservative Partnership Institute Policy Director Rachel Bovard and economist and author Matt Stoller join Ryan Grim to discuss where big tech antitrust is headed. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/10/21·48m 55s

Hold the Line: The Progressive Caucus Makes Its Stand

This week, progressives in the House of Representatives were able to stall an effort by the centrist dark money group No Labels to separate the infrastructure portion of President Biden’s reconciliation bill from the tax reform and social spending components, hoping that the latter could then be defeated at a later date. One of the leaders of the effort, New Jersey representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, joins Ryan Grim to discuss where the fight to pass the bill goes from here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/10/21·31m 30s

Nina Turner on Her Loss and Future

In December, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was nominated to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development by president-elect Biden. Former Ohio state senator and surrogate for both the 2016 and 2020 Bernie Sanders campaigns Nina Turner quickly emerged as the candidate to beat in the race to fill her seat. Yet when the dust of the primary had cleared on August 3rd, Shontel Brown, the favored candidate of the Democratic Party establishment, was victorious. Turner joins Ryan Grim to discuss what went wrong, her future political ambitions, and what progressives can learn from the race. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/09/21·53m 58s

Tax the Rich

The next few weeks will be crucial for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, which is central to Joe Biden’s agenda. Pennsylvania congressman Brendan Boyle of the House Ways and Means Committee joins Ryan Grim to discuss how the bill could reshape the American economy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/09/21·36m 51s

King Manchin

It’s become a familiar pattern for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin: first, announce your opposition to a Biden legislative priority. Second, extract some concessions on the theory that this will attract Republican support. Finally, announce that you’ve had a change of heart and can support the bill, which is of course meaningless since the longed for Republican votes never materialize and no floor vote ever happens. Now Manchin appears to be doing the same old dance with Biden’s budget plan. Whatever the merits of this political strategy, it has certainly turned Manchin into the and most talked-about Senator among DC pundits. But who is he really, and what do West Virginians think of him? West Virginia native Stephen Smith, founder of West Virginia Can’t Wait, joins Ryan Grim to discuss his state’s senior senator. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/09/21·35m 8s

Line 3 and a Week of Climate Catastrophe

More than 45 dead after remnants of Hurricane Ida slammed the Northeast. In Louisiana, where the hurricane hit days before, hundreds of thousands remain without electricity. Meanwhile, massive fires in the West have burned for weeks. Amid all this catastrophe, we continue building new infrastructure to prop up a fossil fuel industry, barreling us toward one climate disaster after another. The most egregious example at the moment is energy company Enbridge’s Line 3 project. Intercept reporter Alleen Brown and attorney and founder of the Giniw Collective Tara Houska join Ryan Grim to discuss Line 3. It's a massive pipeline that snakes across the Canadian border, through Minnesota wetlands, and under the Mississippi River, all so it can transport tar sands oil — the dirtiest of the dirtiest energy — to be refined and, for much of it, exported. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/09/21·41m 19s

Andrew Quilty and Ilhan Omar on Afghanistan

A suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul on Thursday struck crowds that had gathered in hope of escaping the country. ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Journalist Andrew Quilty joins Ryan Grim to talk about the history of ISIS-K and the aftermath of the attacks. Then, Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar discusses the situation confronting refugees from Afghanistan looking to come to the U.S. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/08/21·31m 57s

Anand Gopal And Richard Ojeda On Afghanistan

A media consensus has quickly emerged around the Biden administration’s Afghanistan withdrawal, and it goes like this: whatever its merits in the abstract, in its execution the whole thing has been a chaotic debacle. On this week’s Deconstructed, Ryan Grim talks to journalist and author Anand Gopal and to politician and former US army major Richard Ojeda. They discuss what the media are missing, and why the Afghanistan exit is long overdue. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/08/21·1h 5m

The Era of Climate Denial is Over

This week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, released the first part of its latest report on the state of the Earth’s climate. It details with greater certainty than ever before the links between human activity and extreme weather patterns: fires, floods, and rising sea levels. Journalist David Wallace-Wells and sociologist Dana Fisher join Ryan Grim to discuss the takeaways from the new report. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/08/21·47m 49s

Cori Bush on the Shame and Power of Poverty

Last week, congress failed to pass an extension to the COVID-19 eviction moratorium. In response several members of the house, including congresswomen Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, camped out on the steps of the capitol in an effort to pressure the Biden administration into executive action. Congresswoman Bush joins Ryan Grim to discuss this week’s action and how her own life story has informed her understanding of poverty and eviction. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/08/21·24m 47s

The Coup That Wasn't

The assasination earlier this month of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse is raising new questions about the threat posed by international mercenaries. It also casts a new light on a story The Intercept published last month that revealed the existence of a 2020 coup plot against the newly elected president of Bolivia, Luis Arcé — successor to the country’s long-serving leftist president Evo Morales. As in Haiti, the plot would have seen foreign mercenaries deployed against an elected leader. Ryan Grim and Laurence Blair, who worked together on that story, look back on their reporting. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/07/21·42m 51s

Antitrust Makes a Comeback

Last Friday President Biden announced a sweeping executive order aimed at ending what he called a 40-year “experiment of letting giant corporations accumulate more and more power.” Attorney and law professor Zephyr Teachout joins Ryan Grim to discuss the resurgence of antitrust under the Biden presidency. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/07/21·40m 42s

How “The People’s Mayor” Saved Public Power

25 years before he first ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, 31-year-old Dennis Kucinich was elected mayor of Cleveland, Ohio — at the time, that made him the youngest mayor of a major city in the country. His tenure would be dominated by the fight to prevent the privatization of the city’s public electrical utility, a fight that would pit Kucinich against powerful politicians, the Cleveland Trust bank, and even the mob. Kucinich tells the story of the fight to save Municipal Light in his new book, “The Division of Light and Power.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/07/21·47m 4s

Chelsea Manning Meets Ken Klippenstein

Since leaving prison in 2017, former intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been busy. She ran unsuccessfully for senate in her home state of Maryland, became a Twitch streamer, and was jailed for contempt after refusing to testify in a US government case against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning joins Ryan Grim and Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein to talk about prison, prospects for whistleblowers in the Biden era, and what she’s been up to since her release. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/06/21·48m 46s

Joe Manchin Gets Candid With Billionaire Donors in Leaked Audio

The Intercept's Lee Fang obtained audio of the powerful West Virginia senator on a call with the centrist political group No Labels. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/06/21·58m 25s

Banishing the Ghosts of the Great Recession

For decades, economic policymakers have viewed full employment as a scourge to be avoided at all costs, betokening as it does the grim spectre of inflation. If his words are to be believed, Joe Biden wants to break with that consensus and aim for full employment. Economist James Galbraith joins Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/06/21·38m 44s

Race and Taxes

As part of his “Build Back Better” plan, President Biden has promised to “advance racial equity across the American economy.” In her new book, “The Whiteness of Wealth,” Emory law professor Dorothy Brown argues that meaningfully addressing the racial wealth gap will require wide-ranging reform of the US tax code. Ryan Grim talks to professor Brown about what her research shows. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/06/21·35m 48s

Losing the Asymmetric War

Republicans in Arizona are hoping to overturn their state’s presidential election result, creating a template that they can apply in Georgia, Wisconsin, and beyond. Meanwhile Mitch McConnell (to no one’s surprise) is making it clear that no Democratic policy objective is going to make it past his filibuster. Does a strategy of legislative obstruction and retroactive electioneering hold any promise for the party? Activist Lauren Windsor and former Senate staffer Eli Zupnick join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/05/21·47m 20s

Life and Death in Occupied Palestine

On May 7, Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during the evening prayer. Hamas responded a few days later by launching rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel retaliated with its own strikes, and the violence escalated. Mariam Barghouti is a Palestinian-American journalist based in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. She joins Ryan Grim to discuss this latest flareup in the Israel-Palestine conflict and what US media are missing.The video referenced at the end of the show is Mehdi Hasan’s Blowback: How Israel Helped Create Hamas. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/05/21·41m 25s

The System That Killed Berta Cáceres

When Berta Cáceres was murdered in 2016, she was the leading environmental activist in Honduras and, arguably, the world. A member of the indigenous Lenca people and the founder of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Peoples of Honduras, or COPINH, Cáceres was the most formidable opponent of a powerful energy company called Desarrollos Energeticos Sociedad Anónima, or DESA. Their Agua Zarca dam project would have occupied Lenca land and interfered with waterways sacred to their community. Cáceres worked tirelessly to increase scrutiny of DESA and turn the people of Honduras against the dam, until the early hours of March 3, 2016, when someone had her killed. At the time, David Castillo sat atop DESA’s executive ranks as president and CEO. He is now on trial in the Honduran Supreme Court, charged with ordering Cáceres’s death. Whoever plotted her killing likely underestimated the amount of attention it would bring, drawing Honduras into the international spotlight to a degree unseen since the country’s 2009 coup—but the high-profile case is far from the only one of its kind. Reporters Chiara Eisner and Danielle Mackey join the Intercept’s Maia Hibbett to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/05/21·42m 42s

The Deconstructed May Day Special

May Day is the biggest day of the year for the international labour movement, but it passes almost unmentioned each year in the United States. That’s in spite of the fact that the holiday commemorates the workers killed in the Haymarket riot in Chicago in 1886. As a corrective, Deconstructed offers a brief history of organized labor in the U.S. Jimmy Williams of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades joins Ryan Grim to discuss the PRO Act, a labor reform bill currently before Congress. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/05/21·44m 23s

Matt Bruenig on Joe Biden's American Families Plan

On Wednesday night, Joe Biden gave his first presidential address to a joint session of Congress, though it was sparsely attended so that social distancing could be observed. Biden was there to pitch what he’s calling the American Families Plan, and as Deconstructed guest Matt Bruenig has long noted, support for families and children has been a blind spot in the United States. Bruenig founded the progressive think tank People's Policy Project, which relies largely on small donors. In early 2019, he put out what he called the Family Fun Pack, a sweeping set of policies aimed at making raising kids in the U.S. somewhat less impossible than it is today. He modeled the policies on the most effective programs in operation in Europe and Asia. Matt is also the co-host, with his wife Liz Bruenig, of the great podcast The Bruenigs. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/04/21·38m 39s

The Whistleblower Trying to Stop the Next Financial Crisis

If you were reading the news back in 2008, then you probably remember how residential mortgage backed securities fuelled by subprime mortgages tanked the global economy. Well now John Flynn, a veteran of the mortgage securities market, says it’s happening all over again — this time in the commercial real estate market. Flynn joins Ryan Grim and The Intercept’s Jon Schwarz to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/04/21·33m 4s

The New Mexico Spring

When Michelle Lujan Grisham defeated Eric Griego in the race for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district in 2012, it put the left wing of the state’s Democratic Party on the backfoot. 9 years later, the state’s legislature is routinely passing some of the most progressive legislation in the country. What happened? Griego joins Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/04/21·34m 23s

A Big New Idea to End the Border Crisis

Earlier this week Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware led a congressional delegation to a Texas immigration detention facility housing children who arrived unaccompanied at the border. Also on the trip was Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, who joins Ryan Grim to talk about the present and future of U.S. immigration policy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/04/21·24m 44s

From Coyotes to Coffin Ships: Joe Biden and the Border

If Joe Biden is looking for inspiration on immigration policy, he might look to a speech he gave in 2013 when he was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame. The then-Vice President talked of how his own ancestors found refuge in the US and how the immigration policies of the time made it possible for their entire family to join them and escape the ongoing famine in Ireland. Today, many Central American immigrants are getting a different sort of welcome at the southern border. John Washington and José Luis Sanz join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/04/21·36m 46s

Daniel Ellsberg on Biden and Whistleblowers

In his first press conference as president, Joe Biden decided not to address his decision to continue to seek the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the United Kingdom. The outcome of the Assange case could set a major new precedent on press freedom, yet the press largely seems uninterested in it. Ryan Grim talks to Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and to Billie Winner Davis, mother of Reality Winner, who was prosecuted and imprisoned for leaking confidential documents in 2017. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/03/21·52m 55s

Medicare for All Just Got a Massive Boost

This week New Jersey congressman Frank Pallone, the chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, gave the legislative push for single-payer healthcare a major boost by announcing that he would be co-sponsoring the proposed Medicare for All bill and holding a hearing on it sometime in the current term. Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and physician Abdul El-Sayed join Ryan Grim to discuss the prospects for universal healthcare in the United States. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/03/21·45m 38s

Bernie Backers Took Over the Nevada Democratic Party. The Old Guard Walked Out.

On Saturday, a year after Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, a slate of progressive candidates swept elections for leadership positions in the state Party. Ryan Grim talks to activist Keenan Korth and to Judith Whitmer, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair, about how they out organized establishment Democrats. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/03/21·28m 26s

What's Really in the Covid Relief Bill?

This week the House of Representatives passed a $1.9 trillion Covid relief package by a 220-210 vote. It now moves to the Senate, where it will have to make it past a Republican filibuster. Huffpost reporter Arthur Delaney and Elizabeth Pancotti, Policy Director at Employ America, join Ryan Grim to discuss what’s actually in the bill. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/03/21·40m 1s

France and the Myth of the Color-Blind Society

After a series of high-profile terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in France, the country finds itself in a heated debate over some of its most cherished values: laïcité, or secularism, and the principle of race-neutrality, or color-blindness, in public policy. A controversial new bill proposed by President Emmanuel Macron targeting "Islamic separatism" is meeting with fierce opposition. French author, journalist, and filmmaker Rokhaya Diallo joins guest host Vanessa A. Bee to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/21·40m 1s

Texas Republicans Ran a Twenty-Year Experiment. The Results Are In.

In the early 2000s, after gaining control of the Texas House of Representatives for the first time in modern history, Republicans undertook a gerrymandering scheme that solidified their control of the state even further. What followed was a multi-decade experiment in deregulation that has now left millions of Texas residents freezing and without power. Ryan Grim talks to former congressional candidate Mike Siegel and University of Austin professor Varun Rai about how it happened—and how it could have been prevented. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/02/21·34m 19s

Let’s End the War in Yemen

In his first significant foreign policy announcement since taking office, President Biden broke with both former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama and declared an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. But it will take more than U.S. withdrawal to end the violence there. Rep. Ro Khanna, activist Shireen Al-Adeimi, and reporter Akbar Ahmed join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/02/21·42m 42s

Filibuster or Bust

If President Joe Biden is going to be able to pass any part of his agenda, he'll need to get it past the Senate filibuster. That's likely impossible given the chamber's 50-50 split. Is it time to finally change the Senate rules and allow the body to operate on a simple majority basis? Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and author Adam Jentleson join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/02/21·53m 10s

Could the For the People Act Save American Democracy?

H.R.1, also known as the For The People Act, is a sweeping reform bill that aims to make voting easier, gerrymandering harder, and to generally rein in the out-of-control minoritarianism that has come to characterize American democracy. Does it have a chance of becoming law? Congressman John Sarbanes, political scientist Jacob Hacker, and the Intercept’s Jon Schwarz join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/02/21·49m 45s

What’s the Path Forward for Medicare for All?

In February, House Democrats will be re-introducing legislation to create a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the United States. Leading the effort will be Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington. Ryan Grim talks to Jayapal about her strategy and, to Jasmine Ruddy of National Nurses United about the organizing taking place outside of congress. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/01/21·33m 2s

A Reckoning Over Homophobia in the Democratic Party

On January 13th, the Cambridge Democratic City Committee met to discuss a resolution calling for the resignation of Massachusetts state party chair Gus Bickford. The resolution was an attempt to reckon with the party’s complicity last summer in the release of allegations against Holyoke mayor and congressional candidate Alex Morse pertaining to his time as an adjunct professor at UMass Amherst. The allegations were vague and did not include any behavior that violated the law or UMass policy, merely suggesting that Morse had had consensual relationships with adult students. The proposed resolution charged Bickford with “aiding and abetting an attack on a LGBTQ candidate.” But the vote turned ugly as one member, forgetting his live mic, used an anti-gay slur against Dan Totten, one of the members arguing for the resolution. Totten joins Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/01/21·40m 53s

Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Her Escape From the Capitol Riot

When a mob attacked the Capitol building on January 6th in an attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, found herself like many other lawmakers forced to flee the chamber and take cover. While congress was locked down, several Republicans refused to wear masks. Three Democratic lawmakers, Jayapal among them, later tested positive for Covid-19. Ryan Grim talks to the Congresswoman about her ordeal and her hopeful recovery. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/21·26m 42s

Inside the Insurrection

On Wednesday afternoon supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building, overwhelming police and forcing the representatives inside into hiding just as they prepared to certify Joe Biden's election victory. Matt Fuller of Huffpost and Jon Farina of Status Coup, who were at the capitol as events unfolded, join Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/01/21·22m 36s

Could Trump Still Try to Attack Iran?

One year ago, the U.S. government assassinated Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani by drone strike near the Baghdad International Airport. Is it possible that Donald Trump, now entering the final weeks of his presidency, might have further plans for Iran before he leaves office? Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft joins Ryan Grim to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/01/21·23m 56s

Puerto Ricans Voted for Statehood (Again). What Happens Now?

On election day last month, 52% of Puerto Rican voters answered “yes” to the following question: Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the Union as a State? But the result of the non-binding referendum has gotten little attention in Washington since then. After all, it’s hardly the first time a statehood vote on the island has been answered in the affirmative. Is this time any different? On this week’s show, guest host Vanessa A. Bee talks to Julio Ricardo Varela, the founder of, and to Angelo Guisado, a civil rights lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights. They examine the past and present of Puerto Rico as a colony and U.S. territory, and how that history should inform our understanding on votes like this one. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/12/20·41m 51s

Inside Biden's Meeting With Civil Rights Leaders

On Tuesday Joe Biden held a zoom call with civil rights leaders from across the country to discuss matters of policy and his cabinet selections. The call was private, but Deconstructed obtained the audio. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/12/20·15m 19s

A Political History of Georgia

With runoff elections in Georgia next month poised to determine control of the US Senate, national media have turned their eyes south. To help you digest the coming avalanche of Georgia coverage, Ryan Grim sits down with Intercept contributor George Chidi to discuss his state’s raucous political history. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/12/20·59m 3s

What Can Biden Do Without the Senate?

Come 2021 the Democrats are likely to find themselves in control of the Presidency and the House but not the Senate — meaning Mitch McConnell will be in a position to block any ambitious legislation from the new administration. But as Trump has shown us, there’s a lot a president can do without congress. Robert Hockett and Demond Drummer from New Consensus and Dave Dayen from the American Prospect join Ryan Grim to discuss just how much Biden can do on his own. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/11/20·57m 0s

Populism Versus the Consulting Class

The circular firing squad over the Democrats’ underperformance in congressional races has already begun. Party leaders are blaming “the squad” and other left-wing figures for their talk of “defunding the police.” Meanwhile, progressives blame the establishment for refusing to adopt a more ambitious platform. Chuck Rocha, the head of Solidarity Strategies, and Jonathan Smucker, founder of Pennsylvania Stands Up, join Ryan Grim to discuss the debate. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/11/20·1h 7m

What Happened?

November 3rd, 2020 was supposed to be the Democrats’ moment of glory: polls predicted a comfortable victory for former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as gains in both the House and Senate. Instead, Biden seems set to eke out a narrow win while his party loses House seats and fails to gain control of the upper chamber. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Texas Democratic House candidate Mike Siegel discuss what happened. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/11/20·45m 12s

The Rise of the Radical Moms

Women across the U.S. found themselves suddenly drawn to politics after the shock election of Donald Trump four years ago. On this week’s podcast, Ryan Grim speaks to three such women: Candace Valenzuela and Julie Oliver in Texas, and Annie Weaver in Pennsylvania, about how that day changed their lives and the course it set them on over the last four years. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/10/20·49m 25s

The Final Debate

Donald Trump and Joe Biden met for their final debate before the 2020 election on Thursday night. Trump continued his recent attacks on Biden’s son Hunter and his foreign business dealings, while Biden went after Trump’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. Who got the best of the encounter? Rising host Krystal Ball and former Deconstructed host Mehdi Hasan join the show to break down the debate. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/10/20·33m 19s

Amy Coney Barrett and the Looming Google Antitrust Case

Republicans appear set to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Ryan Grim talks to Ilyse Hogue of NARAL Pro-Choice America about the last 50 years of right-wing legal activism. Then Luther Lowe, Senior Vice President for Public Policy at Yelp, breaks down what could become the biggest antitrust case since Microsoft. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/10/20·52m 34s

In Eric Branstad, The Trump Administration Has Its Own Hunter Biden Problem

When President Trump abruptly reversed an order penalizing the Chinese telecom company ZTE for selling to North Korea and Iran in 2018, it confused almost everyone. Why was the get-tough-on-China-president suddenly caving to their demands? As The Intercept’s Lee Fang and Mara Hvistendahl found out, the story behind Trump’s move on ZTE sheds new light on the role of lobbyists and foreign interests at the highest levels of his administration’s decision-making. And it involves a figure most Americans, even in his home state, have never heard of: Eric Branstad, son of former Iowa governor Terry Branstad. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/10/20·25m 45s

A Look at the 2020 Congressional Landscape

Wordpress entry text: A Georgia senator compares herself to Attila the Hun. An Alaska senate challenger brags about fighting a bear. While the president’s Covid diagnosis has dominated the headlines, local and state races have been getting interesting, and on this week’s podcast DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim breaks them down with the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel. Then, Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman, clears up some myths about mail-in voting. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/10/20·34m 4s

A Goodbye Message from Mehdi

A special message from Deconstructed host Mehdi Hasan. Mehdi talks to Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim about where he's headed and what's next for the podcast. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/10/20·8m 53s

Why You Should Care About the Extradition of Julian Assange

Julian Assange's impending extradition to the United States could set a dangerous new precedent in international law by allowing powerful governments to demand the handing-over of foreign journalists who publish information they deem damaging to their interests. Ryan Grim discusses the Assange case with Kevin Gosztola of Shadowproof. Then, Dana Gottesfeld describes the plight of her husband Martin, a hacker and human rights activist currently serving time at a prison in Indiana, similar to the one Assange could end up in. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/10/20·34m 12s

What Do We Do if Trump Won’t Go?

Fears are growing, stoked by the president’s own comments, that he will refuse to peacefully leave office should he lose the election in November. How concerned should we be, and what can we do to make sure we’re prepared? Joshua Geltzer, Georgetown law professor and a former member of President Obama’s National Security Council, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/09/20·29m 13s

Do Democrats Risk Repeating the Mistakes of the Financial Crisis in the Era of Covid-19?

As the US economy was spiralling out of control in 2008 and 2009, economist James Galbraith predicted that an insufficiently large stimulus would lead to a prolonged recession. He was right, and today he has a different set of economic prescriptions to address the economic crisis brought on by Covid-19. If Biden wins, will he listen? Senior politics editor Nausicaa Renner talks to Galbraith about his recent piece for The Intercept. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/09/20·17m 53s

The Political Revolution Comes to the Statehouse

Progressive candidates won big in this week’s Rhode Island primaries, thanks in large part to an array of left-wing organising groups that have sprung up there in the last few years to promote candidates for state and local office. One of the week’s winners was Cynthia Mendes, who defeated the State Senate Finance Chair. Ryan Grim talks to Mendes about her victory. Then, Daniel Denvir of Reclaim Rhode Island explains the organising strategies that made it happen. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/09/20·23m 45s

Markey Won. Morse Lost. What Happens Next?

This week all eyes were on a pair of hard-fought Democratic primaries in Massachusetts. Senator Ed Markey staved off a primary challenge from Joe Kennedy III, while the progressive mayor of Holyoke, Alex Morse, lost his bid to replace Congressman Richard Neal. Morse was dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at him by the Massachusetts College Democrats, which he was unable to shake off even after they were shown by The Intercept to be an unfounded smear campaign. Markey and Morse were both backed by the youth-led climate group Sunrise Movement. Sunrise leaders Evan Weber and Alex O’Keefe join Ryan Grim to discuss the lessons of this week. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/09/20·25m 16s

Is QAnon the Future of the Republican Party?

QAnon is a far-ranging conspiracy theory that alleges, among other things, that a patriotic Trump supporter (or supporters) embedded in the highest levels of the U.S. government has been using internet forums to send coded messages to the American public about a secret plan to arrest and/or execute a global cabal of child-torturing, blood-drinking, satan-worshipping pedophiles. Despite its self-evident implausibility, the mantle of QAnon has been taken up by a huge number of mostly right-wing Americans, including a shocking number of Republican politicians. Guest host Ryan Grim talks to Aída Chávez and the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer about the future of Q. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/08/20·34m 20s

Democratic Convention Special: Do Biden and Harris Have What It Takes to Beat Trump?

This week, The Democrats broadcast their nominating convention from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it was a largely virtual affair, with generally well-reviewed speeches from leading party figures like Barack and Michelle Obama, the Clintons, and Elizabeth Warren. Other than a speech by Bernie Sanders and a 1-minute cameo by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, though, the party’s left wing was largely shut out. Missouri congressional candidate Cori Bush and Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor join Mehdi Hasan to discuss the convention and the prospects for Democrats in the Fall. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/08/20·37m 13s

The Trump Child Abuse Scandal

It’s been two years since the peak of public outcry over the Trump administration’s decision to begin separating the children of unauthorized migrant families from their parents. Yet the massive crisis that policy spawned remains arguably the darkest chapter in Donald Trump’s very dark presidency. MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff has been back and forth from the border and central America covering the family separation saga since it began, a story he chronicles in his new book Separated. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/07/20·38m 42s

Can We Build a Politics of Hope?

Deep down, are humans really selfish, brutal, and cruel? For much of the last century the most famous experiments in social science, from the Stanford prison experiment to the Stanley Milgram electric shock study have purported to prove that we all have a monster lurking just behind a carefully crafted social veneer.In his new book Humankind: A Hopeful History, Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman aims to shed new light on this idea by examining the latest social science research, knocking over some of the discipline’s sacred cows in the process. The book offers hopeful answers to anyone looking for a way forward in this era of political turmoil and confusion. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/07/20·47m 25s

The Rise of the Left (with Mondaire Jones)

This week’s Democratic primaries in Kentucky, New York, and Virginia saw a number of progressive challengers defeating moderate or establishment rivals. Of particular note were the victories of two insurgent candidates in New York: Jamaal Bowman, who defeated 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel, and Mondaire Jones, who triumphed over a crowded field in the 17th district to become one of the first openly gay black men ever elected to congress. Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss his victory. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi to place this week’s elections in historical context. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/06/20·35m 49s

Let’s Defund The Military, Too

The United States has by far the world’s largest military budget, accounting for 15% of all federal spending, and nearly half of all discretionary spending. Presidents of both parties have repeatedly failed to bring the Pentagon budget under control. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been one of the loudest voices in congress arguing for substantial cuts; his senior foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, joins Mehdi Hasan to make the case for defunding the Pentagon. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/06/20·34m 10s

Is It Time To Defund the Police?

In the wake of global protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, a movement to redirect public resources away from traditional policing and towards community-oriented systems of public safety has taken hold around the country. What are advocates of “defunding the police” really arguing for, and could it work? Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the future of policing in the United States. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/06/20·29m 53s

Is This Trump’s Reichstag Fire Moment?

President Trump has seized on the nationwide protest movement that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer to advance his most authoritarian political instincts. This week he threatened to deploy the military to cities whose leaders were unable to contain the violence themselves. Could this be an inflection point in his presidency? And is it time to finally use the F-word in discussing Trump? Fascism scholar Ruth Ben-Ghiat joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/06/20·32m 58s

One Hundred Thousand Dead From The Coronavirus. What Happens Next?

The U.S. passed a tragic milestone this week, becoming the first country in the world to record 100,000 deaths from Covid-19. Is there an end in sight? Is this the new normal? Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss where we go from here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/05/20·38m 10s

Is Bill Barr the Most Dangerous Member of the Trump Administration?

Attorney General William Barr has emerged as the shrewdest and most effective member of the Trump administration, weaponizing the Department of Justice to protect the president and his allies while threatening his enemies with legal retribution. He has made it clear that in sharp contrast to the traditionally independent role of the AG, he is willing to serve as Trump’s enforcer, providing a facade of legal propriety to the president’s election-year political maneuverings. What does this mean for the future of American politics? How bad could things get if Trump secures a second term this November? Emily Bazelon — Yale research fellow, staff writer for New York Times magazine, and host of Slate’s Political Gabfest — joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/05/20·34m 52s

Is Elon Musk a Fraud?

Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to voice his frustrations about the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown in Alameda County, California. The billionaire entrepreneur threatened that he would take his auto factory to another state if it was not allowed to reopen immediately. On Monday he announced that he would be resuming production at the facility in contravention of the lockdown. By Wednesday morning, the county had caved to Musk, announcing that his factory would be allowed to resume production under government supervision. After Musk’s initial tweet threatening to leave the state, California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez took to Twitter herself, saying succinctly, “F*ck Elon Musk.” She added: “So much of the clash our state is experiencing with the tech/Silicon Valley companies is of our own making. We let gig companies violate labor laws for over a decade. We subsidized Tesla as they operated with severe safety issues & actively union busted. They got used to it… It’s time that all companies, no matter how cool, abide by the same laws.”Lorena Gonzalez discusses the situation with Musk and Tesla. Then, tech and labor reporter Jack Crosbie joins Mehdi to give the backstory on the cultish billionaire. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/05/20·35m 40s

Are Trump and the Anti-Lockdown Militias Itching For Violence?

Protests have broken out in and around several state capitols, with demonstrators, among them armed right-wing militia members, attempting to pressure their state governments to end the Covid-19 lockdowns. Could this end in violence, and what does it portend for the presidential election? Scholar of right-wing extremism Nicole Hemmer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the protests. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/05/20·33m 50s

Joe Biden Thinks We Should Believe Women—Just Not Tara Reade

In March, former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade went public with the explosive allegation that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993. Since then, Democrats, in particular surrogates of the Biden campaign, have struggled to deal with the allegation. The Biden camp has categorically denied that any wrongdoing took place, but in the first presidential election of the #MeToo era, can he really afford to dismiss Tara Reade? The Intercept’s Ryan Grim, who recently broke new revelations in the story, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/04/20·39m 10s

Has The Coronavirus Made The Ultimate Case For Medicare For All?

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed gaping holes in the United States’ medical system, and the lack of access to tests and treatment has many wondering if fundamental reforms to the system might be necessary after all. CNN commentator and medical doctor Abdul El-Sayed joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether universal healthcare — Medicare for All — could be the cure for the ills of our ailing system. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/04/20·39m 12s

The Media Helped Elect Trump in 2016. Are they Doing it Again?

The president’s nightly Coronavirus Task Force briefings are increasingly coming to resemble campaign rallies without the crowds: excuses for Trump to showboat in front of TV cameras, praise his own managerial brilliance, and gratuitously insult reporters. So why are they still being taken seriously by cable news? Veteran broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether the media are repeating the mistakes of 2016. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/04/20·41m 24s

Is Donald Trump Criminally Responsible for Coronavirus Deaths?

Deaths from Covid-19 continued to mount this week as the U.S. surpassed 200,000 confirmed cases, more than any other country in the world. Experts increasingly point to President Trump’s willful negligence as a primary cause of the pandemic’s intensity, but MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner takes things a step further, arguing controversially that Trump could be legally liable for coronavirus deaths after he leaves office. He makes the case to Mehdi Hasan on this week’s podcast. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/04/20·35m 52s

Introducing Somebody

Reporter Alison Flowers attempts to discover the truth about the shooting death of a young man on Chicago’s south side in 2016, teaming up with the young man’s mother, Shapearl Wells, who launched her own investigation into her son’s murder after doubting the official police narrative. Coming March 31st. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/03/20·3m 26s

Is the Trump Cult a Death Cult?

This week President Trump began asserting that the United States would once again be “open for business” by Easter, on April 12th. He provided no scientific or medical justification for that timeline, which Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has emphasized is “flexible”. The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the President’s continuing refusal to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/03/20·38m 57s

How to Save the U.S. Economy, With AOC and Stephanie Kelton

Border Closures. Economic meltdown. Skyrocketing unemployment claims. Every day brings new news of the COVID-19 pandemic’s unprecedented impact on American life. Will the federal government find the political will to enact the kinds of radical measures necessary to help Americans keep their heads above water during this crisis? New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and economist Stephanie Kelton join Mehdi Hasan to discuss what needs to be done. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/03/20·32m 50s

Bernie Versus Biden: Who Won the Debate?

The 11th Democratic primary debate on Sunday was an unusual one. It was a one-on-one encounter between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, held without an audience in Washington D.C. due to mounting fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The two sparred over healthcare, social security, the Iraq War, and the 2005 bankruptcy bill. Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to break down the debate. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/03/20·35m 5s

Capitalism Versus Coronavirus

From just a handful of cases a few weeks ago, the COVID-19 outbreak in the US has ballooned to over a thousand cases nationwide. The Trump administration’s public response has ranged from incoherent to incomprehensible: denialism about the scale of the problem, failure to test in sufficient numbers, a reluctance to take coordinated, large-scale government action. It’s also raised questions about the US healthcare system’s capacity to respond effectively to a health crisis on this scale. Columbia professor and economist Jeffrey Sachs joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss American capitalism’s failure to deal effectively with the coronavirus. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
12/03/20·32m 15s

Can Biden Still Be Stopped?

It’s being described as one of the biggest turnarounds in presidential primary history. After disappointing results in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Joe Biden appeared to be fading in Bernie Sanders’ rearview mirror. Then came his crushing win in South Carolina, after which Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg all dropped out of the race. Klobuchar and Buttigieg, along with former candidate Beto O’Rourke, then endorsed Biden, cementing the growing consensus among establishment Democrats that the former Vice President is the best positioned candidate to stop Bernie. Where does all this leave the Democratic race? Mehdi talks to Intercept DC bureau chief Ryan Grim and to Larry Cohen of Our Revolution about Biden's big night and about Bernie’s path forward.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/03/20·32m 44s

Debate Special: The One Where Everyone Attacks Bernie

With victories in New Hampshire and Nevada and a firm lead in the national polls, Bernie Sanders is now unquestionably the frontrunner in the Democratic race. On Tuesday night the top contenders met for their final debate before the South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries, and all of his opponents had their sights set firmly on the senator from Vermont. Mehdi Hasan talks to writer, activist, and Sanders surrogate Shaun King about Bernie’s performance and his groundbreaking answers to questions on foreign policy.Deconstructed interviews a variety of guests who share their views in order to educate and inform our listeners on the most pressing issues of the day and on the democratic process. Our guests’ views on the issues, and how elected officials and candidates approach those issues, do not reflect the views of First Look Media Works. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/02/20·34m 20s

How Bloomberg Blew it In Las Vegas

On Wednesday night, 6 of the remaining Democratic candidates faced off in Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucuses. All eyes were on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, despite sitting out the early contests and appearing in none of the previous debates, has surged in many polls thanks to a relentless self-funded ad campaign. Would he live up to his own hype?In a word, no. Bloomberg was unprepared for the barrage of attacks he faced from all sides, and suffered especially from a set of withering takedowns at the hands of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Intercept DC bureau chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Bloomberg’s debut performance and how the debate might affect the race going forward. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/02/20·28m 12s

Live from L.A. with John Legend and Patrisse Cullors

The United States has the biggest prison population of any country on the planet. The crime rate is down, but the incarceration rate continues to soar. With the 2020 presidential election around the corner, what hope is there for fixing the system? Mehdi Hasan sits down with John Legend and Patrisse Cullors in Los Angeles for a live conversation about criminal justice.Deconstructed interviews a variety of guests who share their views in order to educate and inform our listeners on the most pressing issues of the day and on the democratic process. Our guests’ views on the issues and on elected officials’ and candidates’ approaches to them are their own, and do not reflect of the views of First Look Media Works. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/02/20·49m 43s

Rigged: The Acquittal of Donald J Trump

As predicted, the Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to find President Donald J. Trump not guilty on both articles of impeachment brought by the House of Representatives. It was a party-line vote, with one notable exception: Utah Senator Mitt Romney became the first Senator in U.S. history to vote to remove a president of his own party. Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who both voted to remove the President, joined Mehdi Hasan by phone shortly after the vote to discuss the implications of Trump’s acquittal for the future of the Senate. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/02/20·39m 54s

Does Joe Biden Have a Corruption Problem?

On January 20th, The Guardian published an op-ed by New York attorney and law professor Zephyr Teachout entitled “‘Middle Class’ Joe Biden has a corruption problem – it makes him a weak candidate”. In it, Teachout argues that Biden’s history of taking big donations from the credit card, healthcare, and fossil fuel industries and then voting on their behalf makes him a poor choice against Trump in the Fall: “a lot of the voters we need,” wrote Teachout, “independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.”” Teachout is a public supporter of Bernie Sanders and when the Biden camp took umbrage at the piece, Sanders publicly apologized for it. “It is absolutely not my view that Joe is corrupt in any way,” said the Vermont Senator. “And I'm sorry that that op-ed appeared.” But was that really the right reply from a candidate who has made the fight against big money in politics one of the cornerstones of his campaign? Zephyr Teachout joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Joe Biden and the culture of corruption in Washington. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/01/20·33m 14s

Why is Billionaire Tom Steyer Running for President?

With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, the Democratic primary increasingly seems like a two-way contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The latest polls show Biden leading in Iowa and Sanders leading nationally, and calls are getting louder for the lower-tier candidates to drop out and allow support to coalesce around the leaders. Despite failing to poll above 4% nationally, California billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer insists he still has a path to the nomination, citing relatively strong recent polls in Nevada and South Carolina. Analysts estimate that Steyer’s campaign has already spent over $100 million on radio, TV, and digital advertising since launching back in July. Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate about what he’s getting for all that money, and whether it might be better spent on house and Senate races around the country. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/01/20·27m 0s

Truth, Lies, and the Democratic Debate

Six of the remaining Democratic candidates met in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday night for their final debate before the state holds its first-in-the-nation caucuses on February 3rd. With the state of the race still fluid, the top contenders were all looking for a moment that might help them to distinguish themselves from the field. In the runup to the debate, much of the media focus was on the apparent breakdown of the de facto non-aggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, with the latter claiming that Sanders had told her in a 2018 meeting that a woman couldn’t win a US presidential election. The two clashed over Warren’s claim during the debate; Sanders repeated his denial that such an exchange took place, while Warren declined to retract the accusation. Meanwhile, the moderators once again allowed Joe Biden to avoid serious or detailed scrutiny of his record in the Senate—in particular his vociferous early support for the Iraq War. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/01/20·32m 42s

Why Don’t We Care About China’s Uighur Muslims?

It’s been described as the worst human rights crisis in the world — the arbitrary detention in sprawling camps of a million or more Uighur Muslims in China’s northwestern Xinjiang province. The Chinese government has claimed that the camps are merely vocational training centers, but in November a trove of leaked documents, dubbed the China Cables, confirmed what the world had long suspected: the camps are Communist Party re-education centers in which Uighurs are forced to abandon their traditional religion and language. Nury Turkel is a U.S.-based attorney and Uighur rights advocate and he joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the situation in Xinjiang — and why so much of the world doesn’t seem to care about it. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/12/19·37m 42s

Nixon, Clinton, and What the Right Gets Wrong About Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, with testimony from a quartet of legal scholars from major Universities. Republicans on the committee repeatedly attempted to slow down the proceedings using parliamentary stall tactics, and continued to focus on the perceived partisan motivations of the impeachment process rather than the facts of the case against the President — while Democrats used the hearing to build up the constitutional case for removing him from office. But while the minutiae of the legal case against Trump are important, so is the political history of the country’s three previous impeachment efforts. Princeton history professor Kevin Kruse joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss what the current congress can learn from the historical examples of Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and Andrew Johnson. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
05/12/19·33m 3s

It's Giving Tuesday!

If you're one of the many listeners who enjoys Deconstructed every week, we have a special favor to ask you. Today is Giving Tuesday - a day to celebrate and support the causes and organizations you believe in. The Intercept relies on readers and listeners like you to support the journalism we do here every day. Right now, you can head to and do just that. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/12/19·4m 6s

Who Won Last Night’s Democratic Debate?

In the days leading up to the November Democratic debate in Atlanta, everyone seemed to agree that attacks on Pete Buttigieg would be the order of the night. The South Bend Mayor had lept to the top of the pack in the latest Iowa polls, and the conventional wisdom was that other candidates hoping for a caucus victory there — Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden — would be directing their fire his way. But the rest of field was surprisingly cordial to Mayor Pete, with the real fireworks coming courtesy of a heated exchange between Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard. Cory Booker also earned some good reviews for his joke that Joe Biden “might have been high” for opposing marijuana legalization. Intercept politics reporter Akela Lacy and Waleed Shahid of the activist group Justice Democrats join Mehdi Hasan to break down the debate. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/11/19·35m 6s

Does Liberal Canada Have a Dark Side?

Liberals across the West often imagine Canada as a progressive paradise — a tolerant land, welcoming to immigrants, where marijuana is legal and everyone gets free healthcare. But how accurate is that picture? In the wake of last month’s federal elections, in which Justin Trudeau held onto the Prime Minister's post but lost his majority in parliament, Deconstructed headed to Toronto for the HotDocs Podcast Festival. There, Mehdi Hasan talked to two of Canada’s leading politicians. Ahmed Hussen is the Immigration Minister in Trudeau’s cabinet, and is himself an immigrant who arrived in Canada from war-torn Somalia in the 90s. Jagmeet Singh is the leader of the New Democratic Party, or NDP, and the first Sikh to head a major political party in Canada. Hasan sat down with Singh and Hussen to discuss Canada’s reputation as a shining beacon of Western multiculturalism — and whether it’s truly deserved. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/11/19·53m 38s

The Bernie Sanders Interview

With three months to go until the Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders finds himself fighting to make headway against the other frontrunners in the Democratic primary. While he appears to have bounced back from his recent heart attack—putting in a convincing performance in the last debate and picking up a coveted endorsement from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—the democratic socialist from Vermont has struggled to recapture the old 2016 magic in a more crowded 2020 field. Mehdi Hasan talks to Bernie about his campaign strategy, what separates him from his chief progressive rival Elizabeth Warren, and whether he’d be comfortable with an all-white—or all-male—ticket in 2020. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to discuss the prospects for the Sanders campaign. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/11/19·32m 58s

Deconstructed Special: The Noam Chomsky Interview

Linguist, activist, and political theorist Noam Chomsky has been speaking out against U.S. interventionism from Vietnam to Latin America and the Middle East since the 1960s. He’s the most cited author alive, but you won’t see him on the nightly news, or in the pages of most major newspapers. On this week’s Deconstructed, Chomsky sits down with Mehdi Hasan to discuss the impeachment inquiry, the 2020 Democratic field, and why he opposed Trump’s Syria troop withdrawal. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/10/19·38m 1s

How to Resist: Live with Ilhan Omar and Michael Moore

In a live taping of The Intercept’s Deconstructed podcast, host Mehdi Hasan is joined by two of America’s leading progressive voices: first-term Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, and documentarian Michael Moore, whose latest film, “Fahrenheit 11/9", takes an incisive look at the 2016 election and the crisis of American democracy in the Trump era. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/10/19·51m 36s

Is It Time for Democrats to Fight Dirty?

The twelve leading Democratic candidates met in Westerville, Ohio on Tuesday for the fourth debate of the 2020 primary season. The usual topics—healthcare, taxes, the impeachment inquiry—dominated the discussion, but the CNN moderators also asked the candidates to weigh in on a controversial proposal, gaining currency of late on the left, to expand the Supreme Court. So-called “court packing” is normally a taboo in U.S. politics, and predictably the top contenders were reluctant to endorse it. David Faris, professor of political science at Roosevelt University and author of It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics, believes that court packing is precisely the type of radical structural reform that Democrats and progressives need to pursue if they want a chance at defeating the right in years to come. He joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss what the left can do to overcome minority rule in Washington. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/10/19·30m 38s

Beto O’Rourke to Democrats: Go Big On Impeachment

Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke became the Democratic Party’s golden boy in 2018 thanks to his near-miss campaign against Senator Ted Cruz. Yet since declaring his campaign for the presidency back in March, his poll numbers have steadily declined. In recent weeks Beto has earned glowing reviews for his fiery rhetoric on gun control and Trump’s racism—and for his support for the Democrats’ nascent impeachment effort—but will it be enough to reinvigorate his bid for the White House? Mehdi Hasan talks to the candidate ahead of next week’s crucial debate. Then, Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down Beto’s campaign. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
10/10/19·32m 26s

The Silencing of Kashmir: Arundhati Roy on India, Modi, and Fascism

India’s clampdown on the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir is entering its third month, and while the right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exerted tight control over the flow of information out of the region, a bleak picture has nonetheless emerged. Thousands have been imprisoned, including political leaders. Movement is tightly restricted. Phone lines have been cut off. Modi appears set on ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special semi-autonomous status and bringing it fully under the control of New Delhi, a move which residents of the Muslim-majority region strongly reject. Arundhati Roy, India’s most famous novelist and a passionate voice for Kashmiri self-determination, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the Kashmir crisis and India’s troubling rightward tilt. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
03/10/19·30m 48s

Finally, Impeachment: Julián Castro on Trump and Ukraine

It finally happened: on Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The final straw was a July phone call in which Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden, and appeared to suggest that US aid to Ukraine might be contingent upon his compliance. Nearly all of the 2020 Democratic candidates have come out in support of impeachment proceedings. On this week’s Deconstructed, one of those candidates, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the week’s developments. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to break down the political prospects for impeachment. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/09/19·33m 32s

Israel: Democracy or Apartheid?

Israeli voters returned to the polls this week for the second time in five months to elect the 120 members of the Knesset, the country’s legislative body. The outcome remains too close to call, but it looks like Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest serving Prime Minister, may be denied a majority. His likely successor is former army chief of staff Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party. Yet missing from so much of the international conversation is the fact that five million Palestinian residents of the occupied territories remain unable to vote in elections that could determine their future. Given that Gantz, like Netanyahu, has adopted bellicose rhetoric toward Palestine in the past, can they really expect things to change? Noura Erakat, Palestinian American legal scholar and author of Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss whether it’s fair to describe Israel as an apartheid state. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
19/09/19·28m 46s

Democratic Debate: Is Joe Biden OK?

The Democratic candidates met in Houston on Thursday night for a third round of televised debates. This time the format was limited to a single night with 10 participants, which meant that for the first time, all the top-tier candidates were onstage together. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren defended their respective healthcare plans, but the center of attention was frontrunner Joe Biden, who spent the night fending off attacks from his rivals. As the evening wore on, Biden's answers became increasingly difficult to decipher. Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim joins Mehdi Hasan to breakdown the latest debate, as do Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas and Pod Save the World host Tommy Vietor. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/09/19·37m 3s

Who Won the First Democratic Debates?

A whopping 20 Democratic presidential candidates met in Miami, Florida this week for the first in what promises to be a very long season of primary debates. Pre-debate buzz centered around frontrunners like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—or Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, who let the fireworks fly on the second night in a heated exchange over the ex-Vice President’s record on school bussing. One surprise standout was former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who made headlines on the first night for his radical immigration proposals and for clashing with fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke. Castro joins Mehdi to talk about his big night, and Intercept DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim stops by to analyze the debates. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/06/19·38m 3s

Iran Crisis: Have We Learned Nothing from The Iraq War?

Calls for military action against Iran grew louder this week in response to the Trump Administration’s claims that the Islamic Republic was responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Many analysts and politicians, both in the US and abroad, expressed skepticism of those claims. But the US media appears to be falling into a familiar pattern, providing a sympathetic platform for the administration without fundamentally questioning its premises. What can we learn from the last push for a war in the Middle East 17 years ago? Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Chief of Staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell during the runup to the Iraq War, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the lessons of recent history. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/06/19·35m 51s

Why Won't the Democratic Candidates Move to the Left on Foreign Policy?

The Democratic candidates have introduced a raft of radical progressive proposals on the domestic policy front, from Medicare for All to free public college to universal basic income. Yet that appetite for radicalism has been sorely lacking on the foreign policy front, with the candidates mostly mouthing the same noncommittal platitudes we’ve come to expect from cautious presidential contenders. Why is it that the policy area in which American presidents have the most power and the most freedom to shape world events is so often overlooked in our political campaigns? Atlantic contributor and CUNY professor Peter Beinart joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about why Democrats are so timid on foreign policy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/06/19·35m 33s

Why is Andrew Yang Running for President?

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a 44-year-old former businessman and philanthropist, has garnered a devoted fanbase (dubbed the “Yang Gang”) for his unique raft of progressive and technocratic reform proposals. His signature policy, the “freedom dividend”, would see every American receive $1000 every month, no strings attached. Yang has garnered enough support to secure a spot on the Democratic debate stage later this month, in spite of his total lack of political or government experience. On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan sits down with the candidate to talk about his platform, his qualifications, and why he seems to have attracted online interest from the alt-right. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/06/19·35m 46s

Brexit and the Rise of the British Trumps

This week’s EU Parliament elections sent political shockwaves across Europe, with far-right nationalist parties racking up major victories in France, Italy, and even the UK. Established parties in Britain took a pounding as voters flocked to Nigel Farage’s newly-founded Brexit Party. Only days earlier, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May resigned in the wake of repeated failures to secure a deal on Brexit. Where does all this leave the UK’s effort to withdraw from the European Union? And what can the US, in the midst of its own anti-immigrant populist moment, learn from the turmoil across the Atlantic? Guardian columnist Owen Jones joins Mehdi Hasan to talk about the rise of British Trumpism. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/05/19·32m 35s

Joe Biden Would Be a Disaster

Former Vice President Joe Biden has jumped to a surprisingly large lead in the Democratic race. But in an era when Democrats are increasingly young, racially diverse, and socialist-leaning, are they really about to nominate a 76-year-old white male from the establishment wing of the party? The bigger problem with Biden of course is his political record—from his role in the Anita Hill hearings to his vote for the 1994 crime bill to his cozy relationship with the credit card industry. On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by author and political commentator Rebecca Traister to discuss the trouble with “Uncle Joe”. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/05/19·36m 2s

Will John Bolton Finally Get His War With Iran?

U.S. officials this week accused Iran of orchestrating “sabotage” attacks on Saudi tankers near the Persian Gulf, escalating an already tense situation between the two countries. President Trump ramped up his own rhetoric, telling reporters that “It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens… they're not going to be happy." With the notoriously hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton whispering in Trump’s ear, are these signs that the administration is putting the U.S. on a path to war? On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan discusses the prospects for another illegal and bloody regime change war in the Middle East with National Iranian American Council president Trita Parsi, and with Rob Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
16/05/19·36m 13s

Is Trump a Fascist?

The F-word gets thrown around a lot these days. But with the president fear-mongering about immigrants, turning a blind eye to political violence from the far right, and embracing white nationalism, is it time to ask the question in earnest? On a daily basis Donald Trump can be heard dismissing the legitimacy of judges or the press, praising authoritarians like Kim Jong-Un, or trying to undermine congressional oversight of his administration. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley about the history of fascism and what it can teach us about our current president. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
09/05/19·32m 57s

The Case For (and Against) Impeaching Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election didn’t provide the smoking gun on collusion with Russia that many were expecting, but it did paint a picture of a President willing to repeatedly, brazenly, and unashamedly obstruct justice at every opportunity. It also suggests that Trump was restrained from more serious criminality only by the timely intervention of underlings and cabinet officials determined to save him from his own worst impulses. So where does all this leave the conversation on impeachment? With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, calls are escalating for action to remove Trump for office. While some see a moral imperative for Congress to act, others point out the unlikelihood of a Republican-controlled Senate taking such action seriously. On this week’s Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan talks with Tom Steyer, the hedge fund Billionaire who launched the “Need to Impeach” campaign in 2017, and with editor Ezra Klein, who thinks political considerations make impeachment a bad idea. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
02/05/19·35m 39s

The Case Against AIPAC

This week AIPAC came to town for its annual policy conference in the capital, with speakers including Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But the biggest name at this year’s event wasn’t even in the room. Speaker after speaker took turns taking veiled (and not so veiled) jabs at freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar for comments she made on Twitter in February about the nature of AIPAC’s influence in Washington. Yousef Munayyar of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Debra Shushan of Americans for Peace Now join Mehdi Hasan to discuss AIPAC’s obsession with Rep. Omar and its Islamophobia problem. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/03/19·32m 51s

Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Trump, Islamophobia, and His Presidential Bid

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is not a traditional candidate for the nation’s highest office. But recently, he’s turned heads with a slate of radical political reform proposals, including expanding the Supreme Court and eliminating the Electoral College, that may help differentiate him from the crowd. He also earned plaudits for a statement addressed to the South Bend Muslim community issued in the wake of the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings, which contrasted sharply with President Trump’s equivocations on the subject of Islamophobia and white nationalism. “Mayor Pete” joins Mehdi Hasan on this week’s Deconstructed to talk about his path to the White House. Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim follows with thoughts on an increasingly crowded Democratic field. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/03/19·31m 34s

Erik Prince, Perjury, and the Secret Trump Tower Meeting

Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of the world’s most notorious mercenary company, Blackwater, landed in hot water during an interview with Mehdi Hasan at the Oxford Union in the U.K. Prince repeatedly claimed to have disclosed an August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower to the House Intelligence Committee—a claim not backed up by the official transcripts of his testimony before congress. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, and to Congressman Joaquin Castro, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, about the possible fallout from Prince’s contradictory statements. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/03/19·34m 22s

Cornel West on Bernie, Trump, and Racism

Many have attributed Bernie Sanders’ loss to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries to a poor showing among black voters. Bernie has since worked hard to make inroads there, incorporating theme racial discrimination and inequality into his campaign message. Yet questions persist about whether or not Bernie Sanders has a “race problem”. One of Sanders’ most prominent African American surrogates in his last run for the white house was philosopher and political activist Cornel West, who continues to argue that black America should embrace "Brother Bernie". On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan and Dr. West discuss Bernie Sanders’ presidential chances and how he has progressed on race issues.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/03/19·28m 41s

Ilhan Omar Speaks Out On Her Twitter Scandal, Anti-Semitism, and a Progressive Foreign Policy

Earlier this month, Rep. Ilhan Omar, freshman House Democrat and one of the first two Muslim American women ever elected to Congress, found herself mired in controversy over tweets about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and the influence of money on congressional support for the Israeli government. Omar apologized after condemnation from right and left alike, saying she would step back and think through the criticism that she received from Jewish figures. Nevertheless, her tweets kicked off a massive debate about the limits on public criticism of Israel and the role of money in politics. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/02/19·32m 24s

Why Won’t the Media Discuss Trump’s Mental Instability?

Donald Trump’s rose garden speech last week announcing his emergency declaration over the “crisis” at the southern border was rambling, incoherent, and unhinged: in short, everything we’ve come to expect from the 45th president of the United States. And yet journalists treat him like a normal politician instead of stating the obvious: Donald Trump is mentally unfit for the presidency. Almost half the country agrees, and plenty of republicans, including Sen. Bob Corker and Jeb Bush, have expressed concern about his mental stability. To discuss the situation and where we go from here, Mehdi Hasan is joined by Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine, and by Trump’s biographer, David Cay Johnston. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/02/19·32m 6s

The Truth About Islam and Democracy

Hundreds of millions of Muslims the world over live in democracies of some shape or form, yet a narrative persists in the West that Islam and democracy are incompatible. On this week’s show, Mehdi Hasan is joined by the man expected to become Malaysia’s next Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and by Dalia Mogahed, the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, to discuss Islam, Muslims, and democracy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
14/02/19·28m 44s

Who’s Really Afraid of Socialism?

“Tonight,” proclaimed Donald Trump in his State of the Union Address, “we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” The line received a standing ovation from Republicans and Democrats alike, yet recent polls show that socialism is growing in popularity in the U.S., with a net positive rating among Democrats. To discuss America’s long-held resistance to socialism and its current rise in popularity, Mehdi Hasan is joined by Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/02/19·31m 25s

Is It Time For Kamala Harris To Reckon With Her Right-Wing Past?

Since getting elected to the senate, Kamala Harris has become one of the most progressive voices in the chamber, supporting Medicare for All and debt-free college. However, as California attorney general, Harris opposed a bill requiring her office to investigate shootings involving police officers, and threatened to imprison the parents of truant children. When questioned about her record at a CNN Town Hall this week, Sen. Harris evaded the questions and argued instead that her record has been “consistent.” Mehdi Hasan is joined by Jamilah King of Mother Jones and Lara Bazelon, a professor law at the University of San Francisco, to discuss Sen. Harris’s record and whether it will hurt her presidential chances. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
31/01/19·28m 41s

Intercept Podcast Special: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins Intercept reporters Ryan Grim and Briahna Joy Gray for an in-depth conversation about her approach to politics and social media, her thoughts on 2020, and her out-of-nowhere congressional campaign. As a new member of the House Financial Services Committee, she’s already shaping the conversation with her call to raise the top marginal tax rate to 70%. Former North Carolina congressman Brad Miller, a progressive Democrat who served for years on the Financial Services Committee, joins the conversation to talk about the challenges Ocasio-Cortez will face there. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
28/01/19·40m 9s

What You Can't Say About Israel (with Marc Lamont Hill)

There are signs that U.S. opinion might be shifting on Israel and its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. But the defenders of the Israeli government aren’t going to just give up without a fight. Angela Davis recently had a civil rights award revoked for her support of the BDS movement, and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill was fired from CNN for a pro-Palestine speech he delivered at the UN. He joins Mehdi Hasan along with Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace who is a liberal supporter of Israel but also opposed to the criminalization of BDS.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
24/01/19·33m 29s

When Do We “Impeach the Motherf*cker”? (with Rashida Tlaib)

In the wake of the 2018 midterms, the Democratic party in congress is looking a lot more diverse—not just in terms of gender and ethnicity, but in ideology as well. One prominent newcomer is Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who joins Mehdi Hasan to kick off season 3 of Deconstructed. They discuss Palestine and the BDS movement, her plans for 2019, and the impeachment of Donald Trump. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
17/01/19·29m 36s

Introducing Murderville

Introducing Murderville, a new investigative podcast from The Intercept.  Episode 1: Murder at Taco Bell. A murder in the small southern town of Adel, Georgia, sent Devonia Inman to jail 20 years ago.  He was accused of robbing and shooting a woman named Donna Brown in a Taco Bell parking lot.  He swore he was innocent and there were good reasons to believe him. And while he awaited trial, three more brutal killings took place in Adel. Did police get the wrong man?The full seven-episode Murderville series is available now on Stitcher Premium, or free on all platforms starting December 20. To subscribe, go to Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/12/18·34m 19s

Is This the Democrat Who Can Beat Trump in the Rust Belt in 2020?

The presidential primary season kicks off next year and there is one big question hanging over the Democratic party: the rust belt. For the last quarter century, it was solid blue, but Donald Trump changed that. And as 2020 approaches, the Democrats find themselves wondering, is there a candidate who can take it back? Could Sen. Sherrod Brown, a left-wing, pro-labor Ohio senator who won a third term these past midterms, be the Democrats’ answer to Donald Trump in 2020? Mehdi Hasan is joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown himself to discuss his presidential ambitions, and then with The Intercept’s DC bureau chief Ryan Grim and Bernie Sanders’ former organizing director Claire Sandberg to analyze the rust belt and the 2020 electoral field.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/12/18·35m 11s

George H.W. Bush: The Inconvenient Truth

U.S. media have been busy painting a very rosy picture of former president George H.W. Bush since his death last week. While he did stand up to the gun lobby, sign the Americans with Disabilities Act, and peacefully end the Cold War, he also ordered the Desert Storm operation in which 88,000 tons of U.S. bombs were dropped on Iraq, killing tens of thousands of Iraqis and destroying civilian infrastructure. The Intercept’s co-founder Glenn Greenwald joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the difference between hagiography and journalism — and to produce a more accurate and fair obituary of the late former-president George H.W. Bush.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/12/18·37m 58s

The Senate Just Took a Major Step Toward Ending the War In Yemen

The United States Senate voted Wednesday afternoon to advance a resolution withdrawing all unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen, which has created, according to the UN, the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe and killed more than 50,000 people. It’s the first time a majority in either chamber of Congress has endorsed a bill which calls for an end to U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, a war which would not be happening if it weren’t for U.S. involvement. Mehdi Hasan is joined by Senator Chris Murphy, one of the big drivers behind this resolution, Yemeni-Canadian activist and academic Shireen Al Adeimi, and The Intercept’s national security reporter Alex Emmons to discuss what the Senate’s vote means and the next steps forward. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/11/18·30m 30s

Trump’s Top Ten Lies and Why They Matter (with Daniel Dale)

Donald Trump lies consistently, at all times of day. He even gets up in the middle of the night to tweet, and that tweet almost always turns out to be a lie. A lie is produced each time his lips move. And this serial, non-stop, 24/7, pathological lying is a danger to democracy because Trump, in classic autocrat fashion, wants us to just accept that the only truth we need worry our little heads about is the truth that comes straight from his mouth. Daniel Dale, the Toronto Star’s Washington correspondent, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss Trump’s top ten lies and his totalitarian obsession with controlling what his supporters in particular define as true or false — and why this is all matters. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
21/11/18·35m 11s

Why the Democrats Can (and Should) Impeach Trump

Impeaching President Donald Trump is a pipe dream, many say. Nancy Pelosi, who’s expected to be the new House speaker, isn’t keen on going for impeachment, nor is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — and a lot of people aren’t either because they’ve been misinformed and misled. Contrary to common perception, the president does not need to commit a crime in order to be impeached. Allegations of collusion aside, Trump is guilty of impeachable crimes and misdemeanors, such as the violating the emoluments clause and tax fraud. Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who played a key role in the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and author of the new book, “The Case For Impeaching Trump,” joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the case for impeaching Donald Trump. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/11/18·30m 4s

Midterms Special: Who Won, Who Lost, and What Happens Next?

The most important, historic, and consequential midterm election of our lives is over. It wasn’t quite a blue wave, but the Democrats, while unable to win the Senate, did, as predicted, take back control of the House for the first time since 2010. Mehdi Hasan is joined by Rep. Barbara Lee, MSNBC host Chris Hayes, and Women’s March Co-Chair Tamika Mallory to digest the election results and discuss voter suppression — and where the democrats go from here.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
07/11/18·44m 0s

Race or Class: What Will Drive Trump Voters in the Midterms?

The midterm elections are almost here and they’re haunted by the spectre of loyal Trump voters. Two years ago, white, working class voters swept Donald Trump into office as a way of expressing their anger over economic injustice, but a range of studies published since then have found that it was racial resentment — not economic anxiety — on the part of white voters that put Trump in office. In his new book, “Identity Crisis”, John Sides marshals extensive evidence to show that it was white identity and racism that best predicted support for Trump, while economic anxiety played a smaller role. Briahna Joy Gray, The Intercept’s senior politics editor, differs, arguing that economic anxiety was voters’ primary motivation. They join Mehdi Hasan in D.C. to debate their opposing views — and how that will play out in the midterms. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/11/18·41m 22s

Is Trump Inciting Far Right Terror In the U.S.?

Over the past few days, 11 people were massacred in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the country’s top Democrats have been targeted with pipe bombs, and two black people were executed in a grocery store in Kentucky. Contrary to Donald Trump’s warnings, terrorists weren’t coming from Mexico or Syria; they were here in America, and some of them attended his rallies. Trump, of all people, shouldn’t be shocked by the rise of white nationalism and antisemitism in America: he has repeatedly retweeted white supremacist Twitter accounts and praised neo Nazis in Charlottesville as “very fine people.” On this special episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by former Department of Homeland Security senior domestic terrorism analyst Daryl Johnson and Christian Picciolini, a former neo Nazi who left the movement and devoted his life to peace advocacy and deradicalization, to discuss America’s descent into far right terror.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
29/10/18·30m 8s

From Caravans to Cages: Why Trump Bashes Migrants

If the media is to be believed, the United States is about to be overrun by a horde of terrorists and criminals from Central America. It’s a distraction from what has really been an immigration crisis at the border: the so-called separation of migrant children from their parents by the Trump administration. According to the latest official numbers from the Trump administration, at least 66 children are still “separated” from their families and being held in detention centers. Mexican-American journalist Jorge Ramos joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss this story of theft, child abuse, and racism. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/10/18·28m 39s

Why Won't Trump Condemn the Saudis? (Hint: It's Israel. Also, Iran)

The United States and Saudi Arabia have been best friends since 1945, even after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers who brought down the Twin Towers turned out to be Saudi nationals. Their alliance still holds strong, despite the sudden disappearance and likely murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Much of this has to do with Donald Trump’s financial interest in Saudi Arabia, as well as the fact that he and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu are obsessed with Iran and are bent on going after Iran, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is their key ally in that aggressive endeavor. In this week’s episode, Mehdi Hasan is joined by The Intercept’s DC bureau chief, Ryan Grim, and the founder of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, to deconstruct the evil Justice League of Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mohammed bin Salman. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/10/18·27m 52s

Live Special: Are the Democrats Ready to Get Radical?

In this special, live-recorded episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan is joined by a panel of leftist lawmakers and advocates, Sen. Jeff Merkley, California Congressman Ro Khanna, CNN political commentator Symone Sanders, and Nina Turner, the founder of Our Revolution. Together, these panelists discuss whether the Democrats will take a left turn and use their impending House majority to not just restrain or even impeach Donald Trump, but to push for a bolder, more progressive agenda?  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/10/18·55m 21s

The Right Won the Battle Over Kavanaugh. Can the Left Win the War?

Brett Kavanaugh has been confirmed today as Supreme Court Justice of the United States in a 50-48 vote in the Senate, despite three different allegations of sexual assault and misconduct and wide opposition. The message of today’s vote is clear: If you’re a rich, white, conservative man in America, you will not be held accountable for your actions. Mehdi Hasan is joined by The Intercept’s Senior Politics Editor Briahna Gray and D.C. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim, the former advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton Naomi Wolf, and senior adviser to the Women’s March Winnie Wong to discuss what this means for women in America and what the Democrats can do to stop a Supreme Court dominated by the hard right from rolling back everything progressives have fought for. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/10/18·44m 52s

Riz Ahmed on Politics, Identity, and Being Brown in Hollywood

Riz Ahmed became the first actor of South Asian descent and the first Muslim to win an Emmy last year when he picked up the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in A Limited Series for his starring role in the HBO drama, The Night Of. In the brand-new Marvel movie Venom, he plays the villainous Carlton Drake opposite Tom Hardy’s titular anti-hero. Off the big screen, he uses his unique platform to bring attention to issues from the lack of minority representation on T.V. to Islamophobia and racism. He’s also an old classmate of Mehdi Hasan’s, and this week on Deconstructed the two discuss their complex identities and the difficulty of being the only muslim in the room. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/10/18·28m 26s

What The Kavanaugh Scandal Says About America

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual assault by three different women, one of whom said that she witnessed his efforts to inebriate girls so they could be “gang raped.” His first accuser, Christine Ford, recalls thinking that he may “inadvertently” kill her while trying to attack her and remove her clothing. Deborah Ramirez, his second accuser, says she had felt “mortified.” The Intercept reporters Ryan Grim and Naomi Klein join Mehdi Hasan to discuss the implications of Kavanaugh’s nomination and what this mess says about America. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/09/18·31m 44s

Is Ilhan Omar Donald Trump’s Worst Nightmare?

After decisively beating five other candidates in last month’s primary race to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional district, Ilhan Omar is on her way to becoming the first African refugee and hijab-wearing Muslim woman to serve in Congress. She joins Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib in a wave of progressive women taking the Democratic Party establishment by storm. Before coming to the U.S., Omar spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp, having fled the civil war in Somalia. She immigrated to America at the age of 12. Ilhan Omar joins Mehdi Hasan to explain how she went from those humble origins to a congressional seat. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/09/18·28m 58s

Why is America Helping to Kill Kids in Yemen?

Since a Saudi-led coalition began bombarding Yemen in March 2015, more than 10,000 people have been killed and over 2 million displaced. While most U.S. politicians would prefer to pretend otherwise, all of this is happening with the cooperation and direct support of the United States. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is one of the few lawmakers who has taken a loud and consistent stand against the war. He joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the ongoing conflict — and whether it can be ended. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/09/18·27m 9s

The White Supremacy Court Upholds the Muslim Ban

On Tuesday the Supreme Court handed the president a huge victory in Trump v. Hawaii, the case challenging the legality of his executive order barring citizens of five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The verdict upholding the ban generated a wave of condemnation across the country. On this special episode of Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan speaks with Keith Ellison, the first Muslim-American ever elected to Congress, as well as Yemeni-American community organizer and anti-ban activist Debbie Almontaser. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
26/06/18·29m 1s

Confronting the Consequences of Obama’s Foreign Policy

Barack Obama was one of the most polarizing presidents of the modern era. To the right, he was a weak, feckless leader and to the left, he was the Deporter in Chief and Drone President who bombed villages in Pakistan and assassinated Americans without trial in Yemen. While Obama did embrace the U.S. empire — killing civilians and selling weapons to some awful regimes — he also pulled some of the biggest diplomatic breakthroughs of our time, negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, getting the U.S. to sign up to the Paris Climate Accords, and re-opening ties with Cuba. With Trump now in office, is it time to recognize that Obama wasn’t as bad as we thought, or did Obama’s excesses, whether in the Middle East or at the Mexico border, lead the way to Trump’s? Ben Rhodes, Obama’s national security adviser, joins Mehdi Hasan on this week’s episode to discuss the Obama legacy and whether it seeped into the Trump administration.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
22/06/18·26m 47s

Will the U.S. Ever Give Up Its Nukes?

This week Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to meet with a North Korean head of state, raising the prospect that the repressive dictatorship might finally take steps toward dismantling its nuclear program. But there’s something missing from the conversation: the fact that the United States itself is sitting on the world’s most powerful stockpile of nuclear weapons. Beatrice Fihn, the director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, join Mehdi to discuss the nuclear threat closer to home. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
15/06/18·30m 4s

Elizabeth Warren v. the District of Corruption

Between appointing his daughter and son-in-law to senior White House positions, engaging in business deals with foreign governments, and “encouraging” diplomats and dignitaries to book rooms in his hotels, Donald Trump’s administration is setting new records for executive malfeasance. When corruption is so widespread, so pervasive, so ingrained in the political culture in Washington, D.C. and the executive branch, how do you push back? Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren joins Mehdi Hasan in an exclusive interview to discuss her anti-corruption legislation and how she plans to pull corporate money out of Washington.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
08/06/18·29m 42s

The War on Immigrants

The Trump administration is targeting migrant and refugee children to achieve its policy goal at the border, crack down on immigration, and placate its far right base. More than 700 children have been forcibly separated from both parents at the border and more than 100 of them have been under the age of 4 since last October, according to official figures obtained by the New York Times. Democratic representative Pramila Jayapal, an immigrant herself, joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the unprecedented danger they pose to immigrants and people of color. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/06/18·29m 25s

Edward Snowden on Privacy in the Age of Trump and Facebook

Five years ago this week Edward Snowden absconded to Hong Kong with a trove of documents detailing the extent of the U.S. government's global and domestic surveillance programs. Snowden’s leaks helped expose the astonishing reach of the U.S. government's global and, crucially, domestic surveillance programs. More recently we’ve discovered it isn’t just big government that poses a massive threat to our privacy, but also big tech. On this week’s episode of Deconstructed, Edward Snowden joins Mehdi Hasan from Russia to discuss surveillance, tools that can help protect people’s privacy, and the likelihood of a Trump-Putin deal to extradite him. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
25/05/18·22m 58s

How The Trumps Screwed Palestine

Two Palestinians join Mehdi Hasan to discuss U.S. coverage of Jerusalem and how to get prominent Democratic politicians to take the Palestinian struggle for freedom seriously. Rula Jebreal was raised in East Jerusalem and is an academic and foreign policy analyst. Linda Sarsour, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Occupied West Bank, is the co-chair of the Women’s March and the former director of the Arab American Association of New York. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
18/05/18·29m 3s

Is Trump Trying to Start a War with Iran?

The president announced withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, citing Israeli intel purporting to show that Iran has resumed its nuclear weapons program. Does this move us one step closer to war? Has John Bolton taken the helm of U.S. foreign policy? On this week’s Deconstructed podcast, Tommy Vietor, who served as spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council under President Obama, breaks down Trump’s latest and scariest political gambit. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
11/05/18·29m 56s

Will the Media Ever Stand Up to Trump? (with Judd Apatow)

Comedian and Hollywood director and producer Judd Apatow joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss the U.S. media’s cozy relationship with politicians. Rather than defending Michelle Wolf as she ridiculed the brazen dishonesty of the President and his equally deceitful staff, journalists at the White House Correspondents Dinner threw her under the bus and stood for the people in the White House who abuse them every day instead. The U.S. media’s friendly relationship with politicians was bad enough under previous administrations, but it’s inexcusable under Donald Trump — a president who, according to James Comey’s memos, jokes in private about having reporters locked up and raped behind bars as a way of getting them to give up their confidential sources.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
04/05/18·29m 4s

The Killing Fields of Gaza

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are demonstrating and calling for their right to return to their ancestral lands for the fifth Friday in a row. Israeli forces have been responding with force, killing at least 40 demonstrators and wounding thousands. On episode 6 of Deconstructed, two Israeli activists join Mehdi to speak out against Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians. Hagai El Ad is the executive director of B’Tselem and Avner Gvaryahu is a former Israeli paratrooper and current executive director of Breaking the Silence. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
27/04/18·28m 49s

How Bad Is The News? (With Hasan Minhaj)

Comedian Hasan Minhaj is best known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show and his acclaimed stand-up special "Homecoming King." This year he’s slated to host his own talk show on Netflix, and on this week’s podcast he and Mehdi Hasan discuss comedy and free speech in the Trump era.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
20/04/18·27m 24s

Is Trump About To Start An Illegal War With Syria?

The war in Syria has seen seven long years of bloodshed, terror, and foreign interventions. And now, once again, the alleged use of chemical weapons has prompted president Donald Trump to threaten bombing the Assad regime. But on what authority, and with what plan? This week on Deconstructed, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the most consistent voices against U.S. military interventions on Capitol Hill. And with former Obama adviser Ilan Goldenberg about whether Trump is following in Obama’s footsteps by going to war without congressional approval. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
13/04/18·26m 35s

Why Black Lives Still Don't Matter

In her first national interview, Stephon Clark’s fiancée Salena Manni speaks out on his death at the hands of Sacramento police. She calls on President Donald Trump to take action on police violence, and responds to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who last week called Clark’s death a "local matter." And Professor Ibram X. Kendi of American University joins Mehdi to discuss how America’s history of racist ideas creates the law enforcement environment we see today. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
06/04/18·29m 50s

Will John Bolton Get Us All Killed?

By now you’ve heard about John Bolton’s bluster, warmongering, and disregard for international law. What you probably don’t know is that Trump’s new national security advisor made implicit threats against a diplomat and his children. On this week’s show, Mehdi talks to José  Bustani about that experience with Bolton 16 years ago. He also talks to State Department veteran Thomas Countryman, who served with Bolton and worries that we’re now a step closer to war with both North Korea and Iran. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
30/03/18·25m 0s

We Need to Talk About Inequality (with Bernie Sanders)

The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan sits down with independent senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to discuss why the mainstream press ignores so many of the economic issues that affect the lives of average Americans: poverty, homelessness, and inequality. Fresh off a Facebook town hall with Elizabeth Warren and Michael Moore that was viewed live by nearly two million people, Sanders warns Democrats: “Anyone who thinks Trump cannot win a re-election is just not looking at reality. He can.” Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
23/03/18·23m 25s

Coming Soon: Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan

A new podcast from The Intercept that cuts through the political drivel and media misinformation to give you a straight take on one big news story of the week. Hosted by Mehdi Hasan. Coming March 23. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
01/03/18·1m 24s
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