The Axe Files with David Axelrod

By The Institute of Politics & CNN

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 Jun 25, 2022

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 May 23, 2022
Jackie Speier episode


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 Dec 16, 2019
Thorough, informative, and understandable. Axlerod's approach is fair and probing. This pod is a treat!


 Oct 9, 2019

Description

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Episode Date
Ep. 501 — Jason Kander
3711

Ten years after serving in Afghanistan, Jason Kander was a rising star in the Democratic Party, testing the waters for a presidential run. In 2018, he shocked the political world when he ended his campaign for mayor of Kansas City to seek treatment for PTSD. He joined David to talk about falling in love with the Army, focusing on his career as a form of self-medication, trading presidential aspirations for personal healing, and his new book, “Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD.”

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Aug 11, 2022
Ep. 500 — John Legend
3533

At 15, musician John Legend wrote an essay proclaiming he would one day become a famous singer and use his platform to advance civil rights. His words ended up being particularly prescient; he has since spent his life pursuing dual paths of artistry and social justice. For the 500th episode of The Axe Files, John talks with David about his musical roots in the church, his consulting gig at Boston Consulting Group while waiting for his big break, his focus on fighting for criminal justice reform, his disgust over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and navigating the intersection of celebrity and political activism.

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Aug 04, 2022
Best of The Axe Files: Sen. Bernie Sanders
2965

As we prepare for the 500th episode of The Axe Files, we take a look back at the show’s very first episode featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders. David spoke with Sen. Sanders in September 2015, just a few months after he announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. In this episode, Sen. Sanders talks with David about his childhood in Brooklyn, his presidential campaign, and his stance on selfies.

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Jul 28, 2022
Ep. 499 — David Chalian
3731

When David Chalian was in first grade, he memorized the names of all the US presidents—in reverse chronological order. His interest in politics was second only to his love of theater. Chalian later found the intersection of his two passions as a journalist covering the larger-than-life characters and intricate storylines in politics. Now the political director at CNN, and host of the CNN Political Briefing podcast, Chalian joined David to talk about losing his father at a young age, how working for playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith inspired his career in political journalism, the challenges of covering the 2016 Trump campaign and presidency, and the political climate today—and what it means for Biden, Trump, and the 2022 midterms.

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Jul 21, 2022
Ep. 498 — Gov. Jared Polis
3490

By the time Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was 16, he was already enrolled at Princeton University. At 23, he became a millionaire after selling the business he started in his college dorm, and at 25, he was elected to state-wide office in Colorado. As a Democratic politician with a libertarian streak, Gov. Polis spent 10 years in Congress before becoming governor. He joined David to talk about volunteering for campaigns before he was a teenager, the impact of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage and his concerns about the current court, his focus on education and charter schools, how he responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the advice he would give President Biden.

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Jul 14, 2022
Ep. 497 — Sen. Chris Murphy
2957

Sen. Chris Murphy caught the political bug early; he was first elected to the Connecticut state legislature at age 25 while still in law school. He eventually served three terms as a US Congressman before being elected to the US Senate in 2012. Shortly before his term began, he became an outspoken advocate for gun reform after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at his district’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Sen. Murphy joined David to talk about how Sandy Hook refocused his political career, the new gun safety legislation he helped usher through Congress, what he sees as the politicization of the Supreme Court, why he hopes voters begin paying attention to Senate procedure, and his belief that Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to be part of the paradigm shift on preventing gun violence.

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Jul 07, 2022
Ep. 496 — Kellyanne Conway
3474

Kellyanne Conway made history as the first woman to run a Republican campaign for president when she helped Donald Trump win in 2016—a far cry from her days packing blueberries at a farm in New Jersey. As many advisers fell in and out of Trump’s orbit during his presidency, Kellyanne remained a constant presence before leaving the White House in August 2020. She joined David to talk about being raised by four women in blue-collar New Jersey, her relationship with Trump, her disappointment with the Trump 2020 campaign, the difficulties of being a working mother, her predictions for Trump’s 2024 plans, and her memoir, “Here’s the Deal.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 30, 2022
Ep. 495 — Rep. Fred Upton
3473

After more than three decades representing his Michigan hometown in Congress, Rep. Fred Upton announced his retirement in a speech on the House floor in April 2022. He joined David to talk about his famous Michigan family, his focus on bipartisanship, why he supports gun safety legislation, voting to impeach Donald Trump following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and his decision not to run for reelection in 2022.

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Jun 23, 2022
Ep. 494 — John Dean
3626

John Dean, former counsel to President Richard Nixon, was directly involved in covering up the Watergate break-in. But he has also been credited with taking down Nixon, thanks to his critical testimony before the Senate committee investigating the scandal. In recognition of Watergate’s 50th anniversary, John joined David to talk about his professional journey that landed him in the White House at just 31 years old, his involvement in Watergate, parallels between Nixon and Donald Trump, his concerns about the present day Republican Party, and his work on CNN’s “Watergate: Blueprint for a Scandal.”

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Jun 16, 2022
Ep. 493 — Arne Duncan and Curtis Toler
3749

Former US Secretary of Education and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan now spends his days focused on stopping gun violence in his hometown of Chicago through his organization, Chicago CRED. Curtis Toler, the organization’s director of outreach, grew up surrounded by violence and was a gang leader before joining CRED, where he works to stop violence throughout the city and build relationships with at-risk young people. Arne and Curtis joined David to talk about the challenges facing many young Chicagoans and the daily trauma they experience, the lack of Congressional action on gun safety, policing in Chicago, the impact of Covid-19 and George Floyd’s murder in the communities they serve, and why Arne decided against running for mayor.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 09, 2022
Ep. 492 — Gov. Pete Ricketts
3264

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts tried to get out of applying to the University of Chicago, as his father wanted, by pretending to forget about the application. His ruse didn’t work, and he ended up attending the school and spending more than a decade in Chicago before making his way back to Omaha. Gov. Ricketts joined David to talk about what he learned from his father, what he believes makes the Second Amendment inalienable, his strongly held convictions on abortion and the death penalty, his views on the role of government, the benefits and challenges of working with Nebraska’s unicameral legislature, and why he thinks that these are the good old days.

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Jun 02, 2022
Ep. 491 — Chris Krebs
3743

Chris Krebs was a champion pole vaulter and spent time as a scuba instructor before getting into infrastructure risk management. He ended up as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, a role that put him in former President Trump’s crosshairs as Chris sought to secure the 2020 election infrastructure. He was ultimately fired by the president. Chris joined David to talk about the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity, working in the Trump administration, threats of Russian cyberattacks to the West and the war in Ukraine, and his concerns that false claims of election fraud are growing—and putting democracy at risk.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 26, 2022
Ep. 490 — Rep. Jackie Speier
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Rep. Jackie Speier got her start in politics working for Rep. Leo Ryan, then a California state Assemblyman. But what started as a high school assignment ended on an airstrip in Guyana, where Rep. Ryan was killed, and Rep. Speier was shot five times ahead of the Jonestown Massacre. She has since dedicated her life to public service, making a mark when she became the first US Representative to speak about her own abortion on the House floor in 2011. Rep. Speier joined David to talk about her blue-collar upbringing, her experience in Jonestown and its lingering ramifications, abortion rights, gun violence, her concerns for the future of Congress—and what gives her hope.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 19, 2022
Ep. 489 — Shaka Senghor
3657

Growing up, Shaka Senghor wanted to be a doctor. But at age 14, he ran away from his unstable home. By 19, he was in prison. While in prison, he began unravelling his past, seeking to understand how he went from a bright young boy to solitary confinement. Shaka joined David to talk about the overwhelming challenges facing young people in neighborhoods like the one he grew up in, the seduction of drug culture, the injustices of the criminal justice system, being a father, and his new book, “Letters to the Sons of Society.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 12, 2022
Ep. 488 — Al Franken
3429

Al Franken has been in the public eye for decades, first as a comedian and then as a senator from Minnesota. Since he resigned from the Senate in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations—that he has denied—he has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. He talks to David about his transition from comedy to politics, his departure from the Senate and his subsequent battle with depression, whether he might run for office again, and his touring comedy show, “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 05, 2022
Ep. 487 — Amb. Michael McFaul
3627

As a high school student in Montana, Ambassador Michael McFaul became interested in Russian affairs while working on a debate team assignment concerning trade sanctions on the Soviet Union. He first visited the Soviet Union in college and went on to serve as US Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Ambassador McFaul joined David to talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s paranoia over the expansion of democracy around the world, the rise of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, what he sees as potential outcomes for the war in Ukraine, and how Putin’s attempts to tighten his grip on power may actually accelerate the unraveling of his leadership.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 28, 2022
Ep. 486 — Sarah Longwell
3654

Inspired by the stacks of books in her parents’ home, Republican strategist Sarah Longwell once thought she might become a poet. But at Kenyon College, she found herself more captivated by political science than writing. Sarah joined David to talk about coming out as gay in a very conservative professional environment, her work to keep Donald Trump from winning in 2020, the struggle to separate true conservatism from the current culture wars, why she believes Joe Biden shouldn’t run for reelection, and what happens if Trump wins in 2024.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 21, 2022
Ep. 485 — Maria Ressa
3861

Nobel Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa faces 100 years in prison stemming from what she says are illegitimate charges, but that hasn’t stopped her mission of exposing political malfeasance and lies in her home country of the Philippines. She joined David to talk about immigrating to the US as a child and later returning to the Philippines where she built a career, technology’s corrosive impact on journalism and democracy, founding Rappler and finding herself a government target, and maintaining hope as she fights corruption and disinformation through her journalism.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 14, 2022
Ep. 484 — Anne Applebaum
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This week’s episode comes from a conversation at the Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy Conference, co-hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and The Atlantic. Journalist Anne Applebaum joined David on stage to talk about how globalization has turbocharged the spread of disinformation, how the Russian disinformation campaign in Ukraine failed, how we lost touch with the truth, and what happened when she found herself at the center of a disinformation campaign. 

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Apr 07, 2022
Ep. 483 — Tony Fabrizio
3681

Growing up, GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio spent time helping out at his grandfather’s produce stand in Brooklyn, selling everything from watermelons to Christmas trees. While he was always interested in politics, fostered by an early fascination with Richard Nixon, the idea of politics as a career didn’t take shape for Tony until he moved to Long Island at age 12. Tony joined David to talk about how he got his start in political polling, the story behind the infamous Willie Horton ad, working with Donald Trump on his presidential campaigns, Trump’s 2024 prospects, and getting kicked out of the Young Republicans. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 31, 2022
Ep. 482 — Amb. Marie Yovanovitch
4022

Growing up the child of Eastern European and German immigrants, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch strived to fit in. Learning to navigate other cultures ultimately proved useful during her 33 years in the Foreign Service. In 2019, her diplomatic career ended after a months-long smear campaign led to her recall from Ukraine by then-President Trump. She joined David to talk about lessons learned from her parents, the on-going Russian invasion of Ukraine, her take on Putin’s mindset, what it was like being attacked by a sitting president and her new book, “Lessons from the Edge.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 24, 2022
Ep. 481 — Erin Burnett
3734

CNN anchor Erin Burnett grew up on a farm in a small town in eastern Maryland, but her career has taken her around the world, covering major events from the Arab Spring in Cairo to the Bataclan shooting in Paris. She talked with David about how a letter to a stranger helped her get her start in journalism, her relationship with former President Trump, joining CNN at an unpropitious time, and her recent reporting from Ukraine. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 17, 2022
Ep. 480 — Frank Bruni
3341

One morning in 2017, journalist Frank Bruni woke up to altered vision— he had lost sight in his right eye during the night. As he grappled with this new reality, he began reevaluating his expectations, priorities, and outlook on life. He joined David to talk about how his lost eyesight taught him to approach others with empathy and savor meaningful moments, his thoughts on the politicization of Covid-19 and how President Biden is doing so far, and his new book, “The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 10, 2022
Best of The Axe Files: Justice Sonia Sotomayor
3766

With the recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who, if confirmed, would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, we revisit a conversation with another history maker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She joined David in November 2018 to discuss her remarkable personal journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land, how her background as a prosecutor and district judge helped to inform her perspective, the shifting dynamics on the Supreme Court, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 03, 2022
Ep. 479 — Bianna Golodryga
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Growing up in Texas, Bianna Golodryga begged her immigrant parents to avoid speaking Russian in front of her friends for fear of not fitting in. She soon came to appreciate her background, becoming fluent in Russian and pursuing a degree in Russian/East European and Eurasian studies. Bianna, now a CNN senior global affairs analyst, joined David to discuss how watching CNBC with her father led to a career in journalism, the rapidly evolving Ukraine-Russia crisis, and how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s views have changed in recent years.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 24, 2022
Ep. 478 — Lotfullah Najafizada
3636

When he was 5 years old, Afghan journalist Lotfullah Najafizada watched as rockets landed in his front yard. He and his family moved around the country to escape conflict, but after the fall of the Taliban following 9/11, a new sense of calm—and a burgeoning media landscape—emerged. Lotfullah became the director of TOLOnews, the country’s most-watched station. He joined David to talk about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, engaging in peace talks with the Taliban, America’s successes and failures in the country, and what he wants people to know about the colleagues he has lost to violence. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 17, 2022
Ep. 477 — Sen. Jon Tester
3726

More than 100 years ago, Sen. Jon Tester’s grandfather arrived in Montana, where he homesteaded a vast stretch of farmland. Sen. Tester still makes time to farm that land today, saying his tractor doesn’t care if he’s a US Senator. He joined David to talk about how farming helps him keep perspective when he’s working in Washington, why addressing climate change is imperative to the agriculture industry, his thoughts on political polarization and the filibuster, and why Democrats are losing in rural America.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 10, 2022
Ep. 476 — Ian Bremmer
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In 1998, Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer made a name for himself when he successfully predicted the collapse of the Russian ruble. Since then, Bremmer has turned offering his political science insights into a successful business, helping companies understand geopolitical risk as they shape their global strategies. Bremmer joined David to talk about his rise from Chelsea, Massachusetts to Wall Street, what he believes could happen with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China, the risks of the US stepping back from global leadership, and why a looming Constitutional crisis is not enough to create real change in America.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 03, 2022
Ep. 475 — Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown
3703

The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown grew up the son of a minister in an industrial Scottish town before ascending the ranks of Britain’s Labour Party to eventually serve as Prime Minister. Since leaving office, The Rt. Hon. Brown has focused on social justice, most recently speaking out on the shortfalls in the international response to Covid-19. He joined David to talk about his concerns over increased nationalism in Europe and around the globe, how he views the United States’ role in world affairs, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and how almost losing his eye sight led to a career in politics. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 27, 2022
Ep. 474 — Amb. Andrew Young
2865

After graduating from college, Andrew Young had a moment of extreme clarity while standing at the top of a mountain. He suddenly realized that “everything has a purpose,” and he proceeded to channel that purpose in his work as a civil rights leader and confidant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as a politician, and while representing the United States on the world stage as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He joined David to reflect on his life and career, the legacy of Dr. King, the current debate over voting rights, and the state of politics in America.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 20, 2022
Ep. 473 — Barton Gellman
3913

Journalist Barton Gellman has been questioning power and authority since, as editor of the school paper, he sued his high school for censorship. He has made a career of shining a spotlight on the use and abuse of power, most recently in a series of in-depth warnings for The Atlantic on Trump and threats to American democracyHe joined David to talk about how skepticism towards authority has shaped his career, grappling with the interests of national security versus self-government, and the potentially perilous future he sees for US democracy. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 13, 2022
Ep. 472 — Rep. Jamie Raskin
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Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin rose to national prominence when he led the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in January 2021, a proceeding that took place just weeks after two compounding traumas: the death of his son and the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Raskin joined David to talk about losing his son, Tommy, the January 6 insurrection and its aftermath, the cracks in the electoral college, if the country could survive another Trump presidency, and his new book, “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth and the Trials of American Democracy.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 06, 2022
Best of The Axe Files: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
3112

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already faced a series of unprecedented crises during her four year tenure in the nation’s highest office. This week, we revisit our June 2021 conversation with the young, progressive Prime Minister who has led her country through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic. From her rural and working-class childhood to her nation’s highest office, Prime Minister Ardern says her focus has always been on creating a more just society. She joined David to talk about her early introduction to politics, the difference between working with the Trump and Biden administrations, her government’s response to Covid-19, New Zealand’s relationship with China, and how she measures her success.

 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 30, 2021
Best of The Axe Files: Jen Psaki
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This week, we revisit our May 2021 conversation with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Psaki didn’t envision herself returning to the White House after serving as Communications Director under President Obama, but when President Joe Biden asked her to join his team, she agreed. She now speaks on behalf of the Biden administration and holds near-daily press briefings, which she called just the tip of the iceberg of her responsibilities. Jen joined David to talk about how the constant flow of information shapes her communication strategy, what the job of press secretary actually looks like, why comparisons between the Obama and Biden administrations miss the mark, and her expectation for a short-lived stint in her current role.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 23, 2021
Ep. 471 — Rep. Elissa Slotkin
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Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin intended to pursue international development work, but watching the twin towers fall on 9/11 as a graduate student in New York changed the trajectory of her career. Rep. Slotkin spent years in the CIA before running for office, flipping a Trump district from red to blue in 2018. Rep. Slotkin joined David to talk about the difficulty of being a Midwestern member of the Democratic Party, the rifts in Congress, the recent fatal high school shooting in her district, and how her time in the CIA and at the Pentagon inform her role as a politician.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 16, 2021
Ep. 470 — Gen. Stanley McChrystal
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After more than three decades in the military, including overseeing joint special operations and leading the war in Afghanistan, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has learned a thing or two about risk. He recently wrote “Risk: A User’s Guide,” a manual on assessing and mitigating perilous situations. He joined David to talk about his latest book, the country’s 20 years in Afghanistan, how the US failed to successfully manage Covid-19, and the threat of disinformation.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 09, 2021
Ep. 469 — Marc Short
3879

A longtime Republican operative, Marc Short served as both White House director of legislative affairs and chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence during the Trump administration. He joined David to share his take on the administration, his relationship with Pence, the politicization of Covid-19, his first-hand account of the events that transpired on January 6th, and his thoughts on the role of the federal government.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 02, 2021
Ep. 468 — Chris Christie
3431

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie considers Donald Trump a friend, but he has been outspoken against the former president’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen. He is now considering a run for president in 2024 and has said a Trump candidacy would not stop him. He joined David to talk about the need for truth in politics, his battle with Covid-19, the virus’ lasting impacts on society, and his hope that his new book, “Republican Rescue,” gives other Republicans courage to speak out against lies and conspiracy theories.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 22, 2021
Ep. 467 — Rep. Pramila Jayapal
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Rep. Pramila Jayapal came to the US for college at just 16 years old. She found success in finance, nonprofits and activism before deciding to take her fight to politics. She joined David to talk about knowing when to use her legislative leverage as chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, getting the bipartisan infrastructure bill over the finish line, the need for filibuster reform to protect voting rights and her relationship with President Biden.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 18, 2021
Ep. 466 — Fiona Hill
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Growing up in England’s distressed coal country, there weren’t many opportunities for bright, ambitious people like Fiona Hill. Through hard work and some lucky breaks, Fiona rose to deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council. Consequentially, she also became a household name during the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. She joined David to talk about her hometown, her concerns over the direction of democracy, her interest in Russia, and her memoir, “There is Nothing For You Here.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 11, 2021
Presenting Margins of Error
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This week, we’re bringing you an episode of CNN’s Margins of Error. It's been a year since Americans waited on edge to find out the winner in the strangest election of our lifetimes. CNN’s Harry Enten revisits that night and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how election night turned into election week. He'll also explore the repercussions of the delayed count and how we can avoid drawn out election results in the future.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 04, 2021
Ep. 465 — Russell Moore
3706

Public theologian Russell Moore has long encouraged evangelical Christians to focus on practicing religion rather than engaging in culture wars, something he found increasingly difficult under former President Donald Trump. Moore left his leadership post at the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this year and now works for Christianity Today. He joined David to talk about how working for a conservative Democratic congressman on Capitol Hill reaffirmed his belief in the possibility of politics, why his dad didn’t want him joining the ministry, and why he felt compelled to call out issues he saw in the church, even as it led to his departure from the SBC.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 28, 2021
Ep. 464—Anderson Cooper
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Anderson Cooper is now a well-known CNN anchor, but he got his start in journalism armed with just a camcorder and a fake press pass. Cooper is also part of the storied Vanderbilt family, which he writes about in his latest book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. He joined David to talk about the corrosive power of money and how its effects can ripple through generations, his mother’s life and her capacity for overcoming trauma, losing his father at 10 years old, and how he hopes his book teaches his son Wyatt to feel connected to something beyond himself.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 21, 2021
Ep. 463—Evan Osnos
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When journalist Evan Osnos returned to the US in 2013 after eight years in China, he experienced somewhat of a culture shock. He found the underpinnings of the country shaken, so he set off to find out why. Evan joined David to discuss his journey from small-town newspaper photographer to The New Yorker writer, how technology has made China more autocratic, the power of money in politics, how President Joe Biden defies expectations, and what he learned traversing the country, chronicled in his book “Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 14, 2021
Ep. 462 — Robert Costa
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Journalist Robert Costa is known for his in-depth reporting on former president Donald Trump and for co-authoring a new book with legendary journalist Bob Woodward, but his first claim to fame was convincing John Mayer to play at his high school prom. Robert joined David to talk about his years covering the Republican Party, the ongoing threats he sees to U.S. democracy, what he learned about reporting from Bob Woodward, and their book, Peril.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 07, 2021
Ep. 461 — Monica Lewinsky
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Monica Lewinsky has been many things: White House intern, media punching bag, writer, anti-bullying activist, and now, producer. She talked to David about her upbringing and her parents' tumultuous divorce, her struggles with mental health following her affair with former President Bill Clinton, the dangers of social media, and how she took back control of her own story, most recently as a producer on “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 30, 2021
Presenting Total Recall: California's Political Circus
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This week we’re bringing you an episode of CNN's Total Recall: California’s Political Circus. You probably remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California. But do you remember how it all happened? The blackouts, the budget and of course, the car tax! CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, Dana Bash, takes you back to the origins of the 2003 California Recall and talks with Schwarzenegger and the man he beat, Gray Davis to learn why this election became such a circus.

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Sep 23, 2021
Ep. 460 — Ken Burns
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Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns can pinpoint the exact moment he knew he wanted to be a storyteller. After witnessing his father cry during a film, he understood the power of an impactful story. That, plus the tragic death of his mother which he calls the defining moment of his life, spurred a passion for storytelling that unearths the past and “wakes the dead.” He joined David to talk about his difficult upbringing, what he loves about history, why it’s impossible to disentangle race from his work, and his latest project exploring the life of boxer Muhammad Ali.

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Sep 16, 2021
Ep. 459 — Clarissa Ward
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Twenty years ago, as Clarissa Ward watched the 9/11 attacks unfold on television, she experienced a profound sense of shock and shame that she did not have a better grasp on what was happening in the world. In that moment she felt compelled to pursue journalism in order to bring to life the shared human experience, and since then she has reported from the front lines of conflict zones around the world. Ward, who is CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, joined David to talk about her childhood in the U.S. and London, the mental and emotional toll of covering conflict, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and how the events of 9/11 shaped her life, America, and the world.

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Sep 09, 2021
Ep. 458 — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman
3466

After a behind-the-scenes career in the military that led to the National Security Council, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman found himself thrust into the spotlight as a key witness in the first impeachment trial of President Trump. He joined David to talk about his family history and childhood as an immigrant in New York, his thoughts on the Afghanistan withdrawal and Afghan refugees coming to America, Trump and his relationship with Russia, and his new memoir, Here, Right Matters.

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Sep 02, 2021
Ep. 457 — Dr. Leana Wen
3554

Dr. Leana Wen has become a leading voice offering straightforward guidance on the Covid-19 pandemic, but her journey to professional prominence was anything but simple. Her family left China—where her father was frequently jailed as a political dissident—when she was a child, arriving in the US with just $40 in their possession. She joined David to discuss the incredible story of her family’s journey to America and the struggles they faced once in the country, her roles as a physician and health advocate, what she believes is the last and best hope to get people vaccinated against Covid-19 and her new book, Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health.

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Aug 26, 2021
Ep. 456 — Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi
3519

Shortly after coming to America, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi’s family hit a financial rough patch. For a time, the family lived in public housing and relied on food stamps, a boost that instilled in Rep. Krishnamoorthi a lifelong appreciation for the US government and a desire to give back. He joined David to talk about what he sees as the US’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, his journey from engineering student to US Congressman and how the job has grown more dangerous in the past few years.

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Aug 19, 2021
Ep. 455 — Anne Applebaum
3369

Journalist Anne Applebaum began her career as a stringer in Poland in the late 1980s reporting on the fall of communism, an assignment that led her to drive to Germany when she heard the Berlin Wall was coming down. She has written extensively on the former Soviet Union while becoming a prominent conservative journalist in the U.S., U.K. and Poland. She joined David to talk about how her early exposure to authoritarian governments shaped her political ideology, how autocratic leaders create alternate realities and manipulate institutions to retain power, and her recent book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.

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Aug 12, 2021
Ep. 454 — Amy Walter
3495

Cook Political Report editor-in-chief and publisher Amy Walter grew up in a bipartisan household. Her mother was a Democrat, and her father was a Republican, a dynamic that her mother said primed Amy for a career in political journalism. Amy joined David to talk about running a contentious congressional campaign at just 25 years old, the importance of approaching interviews with empathy and curiosity, diminished trust in American institutions, and what—if anything—the Ohio special election results mean for the future of the Democratic Party. 

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Aug 05, 2021
Best of The Axe Files: Megan Rapinoe
3397

With the Tokyo Olympics under way, we revisit a conversation from 2020 with Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team and Olympic gold medalist. At the time, Rapinoe was skeptical about the future of the 2020 games. Megan joined David to talk about growing up in a small conservative town, finding and forging her identity, her decorated soccer career and World Cup wins, and using her platform to engage in progressive activism: from LGBTQ and racial justice to equal pay, electoral politics, and more.

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Jul 29, 2021
Ep. 453 — Stephanie Cutter
3372

Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter says she has a fearless streak. This fearlessness gave her the confidence to walk into Gov. Mario Cuomo’s office asking for a job in her early twenties and to later successfully execute the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention during a pandemic. Stephanie joined David to talk about her upbringing in a small town in Massachusetts, her close relationship with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, working for former President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky period, and putting together President Joe Biden’s Emmy-nominated inauguration program.

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Jul 22, 2021
Ep. 452 — John Anzalone
3445

John Anzalone first met President Joe Biden while working as a field organizer in Iowa on Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign. Thirty-three years later, John was the top pollster for Biden’s 2020 campaign, this time watching as Biden secured the presidency. John joined David to talk about growing up in a working-class family in Michigan, how living away from Washington helps inform his work, the surprising way Covid-19 impacted the 2020 polls, and why he believes Biden is handing Democrats a strong platform heading into the 2022 midterms.

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Jul 15, 2021
Ep. 451 — Ben Rhodes
3513

Ben Rhodes thought he wanted to pursue creative writing, but witnessing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a graduate student at New York University altered his career path. He joined the 2008 Obama campaign as a speechwriter, eventually becoming deputy national security advisor for strategic communications in the Obama administration. He joined David to talk about how American foreign policy has shaped the world in the last 30 years, what he learned from traveling with Obama during and after his time in the White House, national identity, and his new book, After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made.

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Jul 08, 2021
Ep. 450 — Nathan Law
3319

As an architect of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, Nathan Law first tried to keep his activism a secret from his mother. But before long she saw police arresting him at a protest on live television. Since then, Law has been elected to political office, served time in prison and fled to London where he has been granted asylum. He joined David to talk about his upbringing and path to disenchantment with Beijing, threats to democracy in Hong Kong and the US, and leaving behind his family and the city that he loves—possibly forever. 

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Jul 01, 2021
Ep. 449 — Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
3586

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was picking up his dry cleaning in Brooklyn when he got a call from the Obama administration asking if he was interested in the job. He wavered at first, but realized it was the perfect blend of his healthcare nonprofit, advocacy and medical practice experiences. He is now on his second stint as America’s top doctor under President Biden. Dr. Murthy joined David to talk about his family’s immigration story, Covid-19 and his concerns over variants and vaccination rates, gun violence, emotional wellness and loneliness and designing a better post-pandemic future.

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Jun 24, 2021
Ep. 448 — Cecile Richards
3374

Growing up was a political affair for activist Cecile Richards. She spent time stuffing envelopes at her family’s dining room table and got in trouble in high school for protesting the Vietnam War. Her activism later propelled her to the position of president of Planned Parenthood, which she led for more than a decade. She joined David to talk about the ongoing fight for abortion rights as some states move to restrict access, what Democrats miss in talking to rural voters, her work with American Bridge, and whether she could see herself one day running for governor of New York.

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Jun 17, 2021
Ep. 447 — Rep. Liz Cheney
2835

When Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was a little girl, she and her sister would spend Saturday mornings watching cartoons in the West Wing while their father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, served as Chief of Staff to President Ford. Rep. Cheney ultimately became a politician herself, rising to House GOP conference chair. She was removed from her leadership position in May after denouncing former President Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen. She joined David to talk about when she realized her position in Republican leadership was untenable, why she believes President Trump is dangerous to the GOP and the country as a whole, and why she still supports Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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Jun 07, 2021
Ep. 446 — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
3093

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already faced a series of unprecedented crises during her almost four year tenure in the nation’s highest office. The young, progressive Prime Minister has led her country through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic, successfully keeping case and death numbers low. From her rural and working-class childhood to her nation’s highest office, Prime Minister Ardern says her focus has always been on creating a more just society. She joined David to talk about her early introduction to politics, the difference between working with the Trump and Biden administrations, her government’s response to Covid-19, New Zealand’s relationship with China, and how she measures her success.

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Jun 03, 2021
Ep. 445 — Heather McTeer Toney
3648

Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, much of Heather McTeer Toney’s life was tied to the environment, from food and agriculture to the levees holding back the Mississippi River. But it wasn’t until she was mayor of her hometown and working on a water issue that she realized the connection between climate and social justice. Heather is now senior adviser at Moms Clean Air Force, a group that works to protect children from air pollution and climate change, and climate justice liaison at the Environmental Defense Fund. She joined David to talk about her childhood steeped in the fight for civil rights, how climate and racial justice intersect, and why she believes fighting for voting rights is a vital component of climate activism.

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May 27, 2021
Ep. 444 — Justin Amash
4065

Growing up as the son of a Palestinian refugee and a Syrian immigrant, former Rep. Justin Amash developed an early appreciation for the opportunities and freedoms America offered. His views on what power the government should have in limiting those freedoms crystalized after a Google search led him to libertarian thinkers and texts. As a Republican member of Congress following those libertarian principles, Amash sometimes found himself at odds with party leadership and eventually with President Trump. He joined David to talk about the value of immigrants of all backgrounds, how he believes US Congress operates as more of an oligarchy than a democracy, what he respects about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and why he’s unsettled by what he sees as the media’s lionization of Rep. Liz Cheney.

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May 20, 2021
Ep. 443 — Sally Yates
3559

Sally Yates was born into a family of lawyers. She followed suit, entering private practice before becoming a federal prosecutor, which began a 27 year career at the Department of Justice. As Deputy Attorney General during the Obama administration and then as Acting Attorney General just after President Trump took office, she was involved in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Just ten days into her tenure as Acting Attorney General, Yates was fired by President Trump after refusing to enforce his travel ban on those from predominantly Muslim countries. She joined David to talk about the assault on truth and institutions, the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, voting rights, police reform, and her work advocating for mental health and suicide prevention.

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May 13, 2021
Ep. 442 — Jen Psaki
3605

Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t envision herself returning to the White House after serving as Communications Director under President Obama, but when President Joe Biden asked her to join his team, she agreed. She now speaks on behalf of the Biden administration and holds near-daily press briefings, which she called just the tip of the iceberg of her responsibilities. Jen joined David to talk about how the constant flow of information shapes her communication strategy, what the job of press secretary actually looks like, why comparisons between the Obama and Biden administrations miss the mark, and her expectation for a short-lived stint in her current role.

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May 06, 2021
Ep. 441 — Speaker John Boehner
3540

As the second oldest of 12 siblings growing up in a two-bedroom house, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner learned early on how to wrangle a large, chaotic group of people. After catching the political bug as a member of his neighborhood homeowner’s association, Speaker Boehner worked his way to the top of House leadership. He joined David to talk about his thoughts on earmarks, his respect for Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his horror over the events of January 6 and his new book, “On the House: A Washington Memoir.”

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Apr 29, 2021
Ep. 440 — Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield
2828

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield grew up in the small, segregated Louisiana town of Baker. After watching a group of Peace Corps volunteers who showed up in Baker for training, Thomas-Greenfield decided to pursue a career in foreign affairs. Amb. Thomas-Greenfield joined David to talk about growing up in the segregated South, facing down death in Rwanda, the importance of the US engaging with both adversaries and allies, and her reaction to the jury finding former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the murder of George Floyd. They also talked about the security threats posed by climate change and the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the Biden administration.

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Apr 22, 2021
Ep. 439 — Jamie Dimon
3717

Jamie Dimon assumed the roles of CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase in 2005 and 2006 respectively, just before the onset of the Great Recession. He's been widely credited with steering the bank safely through the global financial crisis, making his one of the most sought-after voices in finance. Just days after releasing his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon joined David to talk about his outlook for a post-pandemic economy, America’s competitive edge over China, the responsibility of government and business to combat and correct systemic racism, and the precariousness of the American Dream. 

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Apr 15, 2021
Ep. 438 — Sen. Tammy Duckworth
2746

When Senator Tammy Duckworth was shot down over Iraq while serving in the US Army, she did not notice at first that her legs were mostly gone, destroyed by the blast. After countless surgeries and hours of rehab, Sen. Duckworth eventually learned to walk on prosthetics. Her new memoir, Every Day Is a Gift, recounts her injury and recovery, as well as her childhood and rise to the US Senate. Sen. Duckworth talked with David about growing up in Southeast Asia and Hawaii and the financial struggles her family experienced, the challenges facing working mothers today, and why she refused to see then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during her recovery at Walter Reed Hospital.

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Apr 12, 2021
Ep. 437 — Bud Selig
3137

Growing up, former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was enamored with baseball, thanks primarily to his mother’s love of the game. After a brief stint selling cars, he jumped into the MLB, working his way up to commissioner. Commissioner Selig joined David to discuss watching Jackie Robinson’s debut at Wrigley Field as a 13-year-old fan, always doing what he thought was best for the game as commissioner, dealing with the steroid scandal, and why he believes baseball is a social institution.

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Apr 08, 2021
Ep. 436 — Rev. Dr. William Barber
3918

Growing up as the son of an ordained minister, Rev. Dr. William Barber didn’t want to be a preacher. But during his senior year of college he reconsidered, and after a long talk with his father, he preached his first sermon a few weeks later. Rev. Barber has since become a leading voice in the national fight for social justice. He joined David to talk about desegregating his school as a second grader, starting Moral Mondays to combat voter suppression, how he sees the fight for a $15 minimum wage as a fight for racial justice and why he believes we’re in the midst of a third Reconstruction.

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Apr 01, 2021
Ep. 435 — Kara Swisher
4189

While using an early iteration of email in the 1990s, tech journalist Kara Swisher, host of the podcasts “Sway” and “Pivot,” had a feeling the internet was about to become a giant story. She jumped on it and became a preeminent source of tech news with distinct insight into Silicon Valley. She talks with David about the power that comes with speaking her mind and being bold, the moment she realized digitization was about to change the world, how she quickly pinpointed the privacy and disinformation dangers of social media, and why she believes China could one day run entirely on artificial intelligence.

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Mar 25, 2021
Ep. 434 — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
3790

For Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the last year was full of unexpected challenges and opportunities. She has led her city through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and when summer social justice protests in Atlanta turned violent, Bottoms gave an impromptu press conference imploring people to go home. Mayor Bottoms spoke to David the day after a string of shootings in the Atlanta area that left eight dead. The two talked about how her father’s time in prison shaped her and her family’s life, how her faith has guided her political career, enacting police reform while pushing back on an uptick in crime, and why she believes “outrageous” voting legislation proposed by Georgia Republicans won’t stop the state from voting blue.

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Mar 18, 2021
Ep. 433 — Tim Alberta
4259

Journalist Tim Alberta got his first taste of Washington, DC straight out of undergrad as an intern for The Wall Street Journal. Since then, he has become a plugged-in political reporter, with a particular focus on the Republican Party. He has watched and reported as American politics and priorities shifted—something he said most of the country has yet to fully grapple with. He joined David to discuss growing up the son of an evangelical pastor, covering the 2020 election from his home state of Michigan, what the media missed in 2016 and his 2019 book, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.”

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Mar 11, 2021
Ep. 432 — Rep. Joe Neguse
3488

Rep. Joe Neguse first became interested in politics at a young age, inspired by his immigrant parents’ lesson to give back to the country that had welcomed them from Eritrea. He joined student government and got elected to the University of Colorado Board of Regents while still in law school. But the second-term congressman reached national prominence as an impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, delivering deft and emotional arguments on behalf of House Democrats. Rep. Neguse joined David to talk about his personal connection to immigration legislation, his experiences on January 6 and throughout the impeachment process, and why he believes voting rights might force filibuster reform.

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Mar 04, 2021
Ep. 431 — Fareed Zakaria
3751

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the US and much of the country hunkered down under stay-at-home orders, journalist, author and CNN host Fareed Zakaria was already thinking about the future. He began considering the lessons the virus could teach us about our health, the economy and society moving forward. Fareed joined David to discuss what we’ve learned so far about combatting Covid-19, why today’s economy needs political intervention for a more equitable future, the faltering American Dream and his new book, “Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World.”

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Feb 26, 2021
Ep. 430 — Heidi Heitkamp
4082

While former US Senator Heidi Heitkamp was growing up in Mantador, North Dakota, her family made up one tenth of the town’s population. She took the lessons she learned from her small-town upbringing to the Senate, where she served as a rare Democrat from a deep-red state willing to work across the aisle with then-President Donald Trump. Former Sen. Heitkamp joined David to talk about rural America’s emotional attachment to Trump, the energy industry and climate change, why she couldn’t vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the passing of conservative radio star Rush Limbaugh.  

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Feb 18, 2021
Ep. 429 — Daniel Goldman
3540

After more than a decade working as a federal prosecutor and legal analyst, Daniel Goldman became a household name in 2020 for his role as lead counsel for the House in the first impeachment trial of former President Trump. As Trump’s second impeachment trial continues, Daniel joined David to talk about the House managers’ opening arguments, the through line from Trump’s first impeachment to his second, growing up a descendent of Levi Strauss, and how losing his father as a child impacted the trajectory of his life. 

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Feb 11, 2021
Ep. 428 — Andrew McCabe
3559

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe didn’t always plan to become an agent, but while interning at the Department of Justice he found himself obsessed with intricate details in case records. The fascination led him to a 22-year career in the Bureau—one that would end with McCabe himself at the center of a DOJ investigation. He joined David to talk about the “slow burning rise” of domestic terrorism, the decision to open an investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and the damage he believes the Trump administration has done to the FBI.

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Feb 04, 2021
Ep. 427 — Rep. Adam Kinzinger
3363

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a sixth-term Congressman from Illinois, recently found himself in the spotlight after he called for former President Trump’s removal from office following the January 6 attack on the Capitol. He was also one of 10 Republican House members to vote in favor of impeaching Trump. While some are lauding him as a voice of reason within the Republican Party, others are deriding him for turning against Trump and being out of touch with the broader GOP. Rep. Kinzinger joined David to talk about what he sees as his battle to restore the Republican Party, what happens when leaders are more concerned with fame than policy, the evil he felt on Jan. 6 and whether he has future plans for statewide office.

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Jan 28, 2021
Ep. 426 — Doris Kearns Goodwin
3900

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin found she had a knack for storytelling as a child, recounting baseball games inning-by-inning for her father when he’d return home from work. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author has since harnessed that skill into chronicling the lives and leadership styles of American presidents at moments of national crisis, most recently with her 2018 book Leadership in Turbulent Times. Doris joined David to talk about the episodes of history that have led us to the present day, the fight for the soul of the Republican Party, and the historic inauguration of President Joe Biden. 

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Jan 21, 2021
Ep. 425 — Joe Scarborough
3754

Joe Scarborough had his first media experience hosting a call-in show on public access television to raise his political profile during a run for Congress. He won that 1994 Congressional race and held the Florida seat until 2001 before returning to television full-time. Now the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he joined David to discuss the violence at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, his hot and cold relationship with Donald Trump, what happens next for the Republican Party, and his new book, Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization.

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Jan 14, 2021
Ep. 424 — Rep. Ayanna Pressley
3785

Rep. Ayanna Pressley got her start in progressive politics at a young age, watching as her mother fought for tenants’ rights as an organizer in Chicago. When Rep. Pressley left college to care for her ailing mother, it didn’t stop her political trajectory. After serving as the first woman of color on the Boston City Council, she beat out a long-time incumbent in 2018 for a seat in US House of Representatives. Rep. Pressley joined David to talk about the destruction caused by Covid-19, prioritizing marginalized groups in legislation, criminal justice reform, and the implications of the Georgia Senate runoffs.

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Jan 07, 2021
Silence is Not an Option: Black to the Future
1733

This week we’re bringing you an episode of Silence is Not an Option, a CNN podcast hosted by Don Lemon. A record number of Black candidates ran for office this year, representing not only their constituencies, but also the diversity of perspectives that exist among Black Americans. Don talks to two newly elected representatives, Mondaire Jones (D-New York) and Cori Bush (D-Missouri), about their platforms, their strategies for Congress, and the future of Black politics.

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Dec 31, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Tony Blinken
3865

Antony "Tony" Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, first met Biden more than 15 years ago when he served as staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chaired. Blinken went on to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State during the Obama administration, cementing his role as a member of Biden’s inner circle. This week, we’re revisiting a conversation David had with Blinken back in 2017. He joined David to talk about spending his formative years overseas, his relationship with Biden and the importance of engaging in diplomacy around the world.

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Dec 24, 2020
Ep. 423 — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
3719

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took the House by storm when she beat out 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, winning on a staunchly progressive platform. She is often portrayed as the embodiment of the liberal left, both by the media and her GOP adversaries who hold her up as a warning of how far left the Democrats have gone. Now in her second term, she has showed no interest in backing down from her priorities, like a $15 minimum wage and healthcare for all. She joined David to talk about her upbringing, how an interest in maternal health inspired a pivot to politics, the state of Covid-19 stimulus negotiations and the problem with austerity politics. 

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Dec 17, 2020
Ep. 422 — Dan Rather
3777

As a young reporter, Dan Rather was no stranger to getting the story by any means necessary, whether that meant sneaking off to use the office phone at Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch or chaining himself to a tree during Hurricane Carla. The legendary broadcaster joined David to talk about his storied career, why covering civil rights changed him personally and professionally, how he learned to steel himself while covering earth-shattering and often emotional historic moments and how he still finds joy in his work after seven decades in journalism.

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Dec 10, 2020
Ep. 421 — Abby Phillip
3777

Growing up, journalist Abby Phillip wanted to be a heart surgeon. But a college service trip through the South caused Abby to reconsider. Inspired by reporters of the civil rights era, she turned her focus to journalism. A CNN reporter since 2017, Abby rose to prominence during her marathon on-air election coverage last month. Abby joined David to talk about growing up a child of immigrants; the pressures she feels as a Black woman in political reporting; and how journalists need to reevaluate their relationship with power, institutions, and the truth. 

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Dec 03, 2020
Ep. 420 — Sen. Mitt Romney
2880

After failing to win the presidency in 2012, Senator Mitt Romney suggested he might be done with national politics for good. But after a move to Utah, the two-time presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital co-founder decided to run for the US Senate. He was elected in 2018 and has made his disdain for President Trump’s demeanor known, although his voting record shows he falls in line with his party more often than not. Sen. Romney joined David to talk about what it was like to cast the lone Republican vote for Trump’s impeachment, how Trump’s Covid response cost him reelection and why he is more concerned about the damage done by Trump’s actions in the lame duck period than by the delayed transition. 

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Nov 19, 2020
Ep. 419 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo
4164

Governor Andrew Cuomo was just over a year into his third term as Governor of New York when Covid-19 first reached his state. While he was a well-known political figure before, his daily press briefings became must watch television as the pandemic ravaged New York. Governor Cuomo joined David to talk about governing through Covid-19, why politicians should focus on how they can change people’s lives, President Trump’s skills as a marketer, and why he believes progressives-in-name-only are hurting the Democratic cause. 

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Nov 12, 2020
Ep. 418 — David Plouffe
3379

David Plouffe is a veteran Democratic political strategist who served as Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and later as senior advisor to President Obama. Just days after the 2020 race was called, David sat down with his former business partner and longtime collaborator to break down last week’s election, discuss how Joe Biden rebuilt the blue wall, why he was the best candidate for this moment and the challenges that await the Biden administration and the broader Democratic Party.

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Nov 09, 2020
Ep. 417 — Jon Meacham
3876

As a child, historian Jon Meacham would find artifacts from Civil War battles while playing in the Chattanooga hills. To him, history was always tangible. He liked finding the line from the past to the present, a sentiment that has guided his career. Jon, who started his professional life as a journalist, writes about American presidents, the nation’s founding principles and historic moments, all with an eye toward what history can teach us and how it helps us make sense of the present. In the days leading up to the Nov. 3 election, Jon joined David to talk about what he’s learned by chronicling the lives of US leaders, the history of race in America, and why he can’t find a rational case to vote for President Trump. 

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Nov 02, 2020
Ep. 416 — Mandy Patinkin
3977

Mandy Patinkin may be a well-known, award-winning actor and singer on the big screen and stage, but these days he’s trying out a new medium: social media. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mandy has been uploading videos ranging from heartfelt moments with his wife, writer and actress Kathryn Grody, to political messages encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden. He joined David to talk about growing up enmeshed in the Chicago Jewish community, his love for acting even as he wrestled with being a perfectionist, and what his role in Homeland taught him about the patriotism of the US intelligence community

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Oct 29, 2020
Ep. 415 — Nina Totenberg
3983

As a young reporter, Nina Totenberg once got a tip about a robbery underway at the local bank. When she called the bank to confirm, one of the burglars answered the phone. Her career has since taken her from covering misguided crimes to reporting on the country’s highest court. Nina joined National Public Radio in 1975 as a legal affairs correspondent and has covered the Supreme Court ever since. She joined David to talk about her journey as a reporter, the evolution of the court over the years, and her friendship with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  

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Oct 26, 2020
Ep. 414 — Susan Page
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As a high school senior facing college applications, Susan Page had a choice to make. Should she follow her passion for playing the oboe and go to music school? Or should she allow her love of journalism to guide her? In the end, journalism won, and Susan soon found herself away from her home state of Kansas for the first time as a freshman at Northwestern University. Now the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, Susan has covered six administrations and 11 presidential elections. She spoke with David about how the media can rebuild public trust, what it’s like to cover the most powerful politicians in the country and her recent experience as moderator of the 2020 vice presidential debate. 

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Oct 22, 2020
Ep. 413 — Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
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Journalists Peter Baker and Susan Glasser met while working together at The Washington Post. While they spent long hours together in the newsroom investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal, they didn’t realize they lived on the same block until a colleague pointed out the coincidenceToday, Baker—who famously doesn’t vote for the sake of objectivity—covers the White House for the New York Times, and Glasser writes on Washington for The New Yorker. The now-married couple joined David to discuss what they learned about democracy in their four years based in Russia, finishing their first joint book while Glasser was in labor and how much Washington has changed since the time of James Baker, a political player and power broker who served most notably as President George H.W. Bush’s secretary of state. James Baker is the subject of the pair’s latest book, The Man Who Ran Washington.

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Oct 19, 2020
Ep. 412 — Amb. John Bolton
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As a young man, Ambassador John Bolton often found himself as the lone conservative in a sea of anti-Vietnam War liberals, whether at his private Baltimore prep school or during his years at Yale. But Bolton never wavered from his world view, which led him to roles in the Justice and State departments under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, including a brief stint as Ambassador to the United Nations. He most recently served 17 months as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, a time he chronicled in his book The Room Where It Happened. He spoke with David about his career in politics, his concerns about the upcoming election, and why he believes Trump is not smart enough to be a threat to democracy.

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Oct 15, 2020
Ep. 411 — Bob Costas
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Sports broadcaster Bob Costas loved baseball from an early age. As a kid, Bob would sit in his father’s car, tuning the radio to find baseball games taking place hundreds of miles from his home on Long Island. Since his first full-time broadcasting gig at 22, he has called NBA Finals and World Series, hosted Super Bowls and Olympic Games and been inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He joined David to talk about the intersection of politics and sports, the magic of baseball on the radio and the difficulty athletes, leagues, and sportscasters face in finding balance between advocacy and entertainment. 

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Oct 12, 2020
Ep. 410 — Sen. Sherrod Brown
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Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown announced his first campaign for public office as a college senior at a one dollar-per-plate fundraiser in a Yale dining hall. He won that race and joined the Ohio state legislature at just 22 years old. He went on to serve as Ohio Secretary of State, U.S. representative and finally U.S. senator. He joined David to talk about how he became a champion for the working class, his views on trade and why he thinks the upcoming election could be an electoral college landslide for Joe Biden.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 08, 2020
Ep. 409 — Nicolle Wallace
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Nicolle Wallace, host of MSNBC’s Deadline: White House got into Republican politics partly by chance. After a brief stint in broadcast news, she applied to work for both a Democratic and Republican member of the California assembly. The Republican offered her a job. She has since worked in communications for Jeb Bush and John McCain, and served as White House communications director for President George W. Bush. She talked with David about her fondness for the 43rd president, how Sarah Palin was the precursor to the present-day Republican Party and what she thinks President Trump fundamentally misunderstands about the job of president.  

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Oct 05, 2020
Ep. 408 — Tim O'Brien
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Journalist Tim O’Brien took a winding path to reporting. He built bridges in Peru, studied karate in Japan, taught in New York City, and earned three graduate degrees before landing in journalism for good. His reporting eventually led him to develop a relationship with Donald Trump, talking and traveling with the future president as Tim researched—and was subsequently sued for—his 2005 book, TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald. Tim joined David to talk about what it’s like to be sued by Trump, the reverence he has for public service, and why he suspects the next month could be rife with chaos. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 01, 2020
Ep. 407 — Sen. Bernie Sanders
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Senator Bernie Sanders first got involved in social justice movements as a University of Chicago student fighting against segregated housing. Today Sen. Sanders is one of the most recognizable figures in Washington, widely credited with pushing more progressive policies into the mainstream of the Democratic party. He joined David to talk about why he believes Donald Trump is the most dangerous president in US history, the trouble he has defending the Electoral College and how young voters can transform America.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 28, 2020
Ep. 406 — Jeff Daniels
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Growing up in small-town Michigan, Jeff Daniels seemed destined to join the family lumber business. But after a teacher spotted his acting talent, his life took a turn down a different path. Jeff’s award-winning career has spanned nearly three decades and more than 80 films and television appearances, as well as highly acclaimed Broadway roles. Through it all, he’s made Chelsea, Michigan his home base, proving he could be a Hollywood success outside of the limelight. Jeff spoke with David about his early theater days in New York City, why Aaron Sorkin’s writing in The Newsroom on the hope and optimism of America still resonates today, and his latest role playing former FBI director James Comey in the Showtime miniseries The Comey Rule.

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Sep 24, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Michael Phelps
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Everybody knows Michael Phelps as the most decorated Olympian of all time. Phelps’ hard work, determination, athleticism, and competitive drive were on full display in the pool as the world watched him smash record after record. Motived by his own battles with depression, Phelps is now a champion for a different cause: mental health awareness. This week, we revisit our 2018 conversation with Phelps about his tremendous career and why he decided to use his platform to destigmatize mental health.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 21, 2020
Ep. 405 — Nikole Hannah-Jones
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When Nikole Hannah-Jones was a high school student at a predominantly white school in Waterloo, Iowa, she complained to a teacher that the school newspaper wasn’t covering stories that mattered to Black students. He told her she had two options: stop complaining or start writing for the paper and telling her own stories. She joined the paper, launching what became a celebrated career writing for publications like ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine. Nikole is well known for her reporting on segregation and racial inequities in education but recently won a Pulitzer Prize for The 1619 Project, which traces the legacy of slavery throughout American history. She joined David to talk about what it was like growing up in working-class Iowa, how she finds motivation in being underestimated, and the inspiration and creation of The 1619 Project.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 17, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Vladimir Kara-Murza
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Vladimir Kara-Murza was just 10 years old during the Russian Democratic Revolution in 1991. Witnessing a revolution was a formative experience that led to a lifetime of pro-democracy activism. In 2018, Vladimir sat down with David to discuss Putin’s Russia, the importance of the Magnitsky Act and what it’s like to put his life on the line for democracy. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 14, 2020
Ep. 404 — Brian Stelter
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Brian Stelter, CNN chief media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources, got his start in journalism at a young age. At just 8 years old he would call up the local news station after a blizzard to report how much snow he had measured in his yard. Later, as a freshman at Towson University, he started a blog tracking the cable news industry, which quickly became a must-read website for those in the media and helped him land a job at The New York Times upon graduation. He joined David to talk about his lifelong interest in media; the impact of losing his dad at a young age; and the symbiotic relationship between the Trump administration and Fox News, the topic of Brian’s new book, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 10, 2020
Ep. 403 — Chasten Buttigieg
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Chasten Buttigieg rose to national prominence in 2019 as the husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. He quickly gained attention for his role as the only LGBTQ+ spouse on the campaign trail and his witty Twitter account. He spoke with David about growing up in a conservative small town in Michigan, the importance of family, the unexpected challenges he faced on the campaign trail, and what seeing a gay man running for president would have meant to him as a child. A teacher and thespian, Chasten recently took on the role of author as well, writing his memoir I Have Something to Tell You.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 03, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Khizr Khan
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One of the most moving speakers at the 2016 Democratic National Convention was Khizr Khan, who felt compelled to address a national audience after then-candidate Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims and immigrants. Mr. Khan, who grew up in Pakistan, spoke lovingly of his adopted country and why he believes so strongly in the promise of America. David sat down with him in 2018 to discuss the experiences that informed his belief in the United States and how he continues to honor his heroic son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of this nation.

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Aug 31, 2020
Ep. 402 — Rep. Jim Clyburn
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When Rep. Jim Clyburn was growing up in the 1940s and 50s in segregated South Carolina, his parents had an important message for him: study hard, work hard and dream big. That lesson stayed with Rep. Clyburn, whether he was fighting for civil rights as a college student or winning a 1992 election to become South Carolina’s first Black Congressman since 1897. As a longtime Congressional leader, Rep. Clyburn’s endorsement is one of the most coveted among presidential hopefuls each cycle. He talked with David about why he still believes that nonviolent demonstration is the best route to achieving social justice, the dangers of a president who refuses to apologize for his mistakes, why legislators need to learn to work across the aisle and what he thinks of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s VP pick. 

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Aug 27, 2020
Ep. 401 — Jonathan Karl
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Jonathan Karl was a young reporter for the New York Post when he first interviewed Donald Trump in 1994, following a tip that the newly married Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were staying at Trump Tower. Trump gave Jonathan a tour of the tower and answered his questions, insisting Jonathan identify him only as “a source in the Trump Organization.” As the current Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News, Jonathan says his relationship with Trump has changed, but Trump’s penchant for press coverage has not. Jonathan joined David to talk about his decades covering politics, how his childhood years in South Dakota got him interested in journalism and the danger of Trump’s willingness to undermine the media. Jonathan’s new book, Front Row at the Trump Show, chronicles his experiences covering the Trump White House.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Aug 24, 2020
Ep. 400 — Speaker Nancy Pelosi
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For the 400th episode of The Axe Files, David is joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi has never been a stranger to politics—her father served in Congress and later became the mayor of Baltimore, a position her brother also held—and she has weathered countless political storms since being elected to Congress in 1987. Her most recent battle is perhaps the most unexpected: securing funding for the US Postal Service. Pelosi also spoke with David about her expectations for Democratic gains in the House this fall, her questions regarding President Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and her concerns for an imperiled Republican Party.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Aug 20, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Sen. Kamala Harris
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When David sat down with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) in March of 2017, the last thing she wanted to do was discuss whether she would be a candidate for higher office in 2020. Now, as Joe Biden’s running mate, she’s the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party. On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, we thought it was fitting to revisit our March 2017 conversation with Senator Harris, in which she and David discussed her personal story, criminal justice reform, adjusting to life in the Senate in the early months of the Trump administration, and more.  

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Aug 17, 2020
Ep. 399 — Tina Tchen
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Tina Tchen, CEO and President of TIME'S UP, didn’t set out to become a champion for women’s rights. But in 1978 she fell into a job in Springfield, Illinois, which happened to be at the center of the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment. Her involvement in the movement helped set the foundation for a long career in law and public service. Tchen joined David to talk about progressive politics, her time as chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, how the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, and how to make the most of this pivotal moment as the country faces a reckoning on race, sexism and treatment of essential workers.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Aug 13, 2020
Ep. 398 — Rep. Karen Bass
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Rep. Karen Bass is a fifth-term Democratic Congresswoman from California and the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Watching the Civil Rights movement as a child first sparked Rep. Bass’ interest in politics. She got her start as an organizer and activist, eventually leaving her job as a physician assistant to start her own nonprofit addressing the HIV/AIDS and crack cocaine epidemics ravaging her community. Rep. Bass joined David to talk about what she views as racist tactics used by the Trump campaign, regretful comments she’s made in her past, the “surreal” process of being vetted for vice president, and why her parents would be terrified. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Aug 06, 2020
Best of the Axe Files: Justice Sonia Sotomayor
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This week we revisit our November 2018 conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She joined David to discuss her remarkable personal journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land, how her background as a prosecutor and district judge helped to inform her perspective, the shifting dynamics on the Supreme Court, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Aug 03, 2020
Ep. 397 — Gov. Larry Hogan
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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan grew up around politics—his father was the first Congressional Republican to call for former president Richard Nixon’s impeachment—but spent decades in business before running for governor of his home state. In his first months in office, he navigated protests and civil unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, followed closely by his own battle with cancer. Recently, he’s been critical of President Trump and the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hogan joined David to talk about his time as governor, what he learned about leadership and integrity from his father, the challenges of governing during Covid-19 and his vision for the future of the Republican Party. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jul 30, 2020
Ep. 396 — Dr. Anthony Fauci
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In his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become a prominent figure in the fight against Covid-19. He joins David to talk about his early interest in medicine and infectious disease, his pioneering work on HIV/AIDS, and what it’s been like to advise six different presidents on issues of domestic and global health. He and David also discuss how long he anticipates it will be before the country returns to a level of normalcy, even with a vaccine, and the surprising anger of his detractors.

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Jul 23, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Theo Epstein
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We revisit our January 2017 conversation with Theo Epstein, President of the Chicago Cubs. He joins David to share why he fell in love with baseball at a young age, how he became general manager of the Boston Red Sox at only 28 years old, why data analytics helped steer the Red Sox and Cubs to curse-breaking championships, and more.

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Jul 20, 2020
Ep. 395 — Erik Larson
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Erik Larson is a best-selling narrative non-fiction author. His latest book, The Splendid and the Vile, chronicles British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s first year in office during Germany’s bombing blitz of London in 1940. Larson joins David to talk about what lessons we can glean from Churchill about leadership in times of crisis, what Larson learned about writing from his favorite mystery novels, his process for choosing a subject and crafting a narrative, and how legendary journalist Bob Woodward threatened his career.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jul 16, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Rep. John Lewis
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This week we revisit our July 2017 conversation with civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis. He joins David in Atlanta for a special televised edition of The Axe Files to talk about his activism during the Civil Rights Movement, his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his foray into public service, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jul 13, 2020
Ep. 394 — Atul Gawande
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Atul Gawande is a surgeon, bestselling author and writer for The New Yorker. He joins David to talk about how Trump has misled the public in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, why it “will be a miracle” to get a Covid-19 vaccine quickly, and how U.S. leaders are undermining the formula for safely reopening the country.  He also shares his early experiences as the son of two immigrant doctors in rural Ohio, his initial rebellion against medicine, and poignant insights drawn from decades of practicing medicine.

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Jul 09, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Lin-Manuel Miranda
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When Lin-Manuel Miranda first picked up Ron Chernow’s autobiography of Alexander Hamilton, he didn’t know much about the former Treasury Secretary. He didn’t yet know he was an immigrant, and he hadn’t yet read a sentence penned by Hamilton in which he wished for a war—the line that would inspire the creation of a revolutionary hip hop musical and Disney feature film. Lin joined David in October 2016 and spoke about what Alexander Hamilton would think of our politics today. He also discusses the value of growing up in a school where the arts were emphasized as much as math and science, and what came next when he thought to himself, “What happens if I bring all of me to something?”

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Jul 06, 2020
Ep. 393 — Shannon Watts
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Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group dedicated to ending gun violence. She joins David to talk about how she became an unlikely founder of a grassroots organization with millions of supporters, the increased demand for guns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the NRA has faltered during the Trump administration.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jul 02, 2020
Yang Speaks to The Axe Files
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In this crossover edition of The Axe Files, David joins entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on his new podcast Yang Speaks. They talk about the future of the Democratic Party and what Joe Biden needs to do to win, Trump’s electoral strategy, the nation’s reckoning with social, racial, and economic inequality, and what America might look like in a post-Trump world.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 29, 2020
Ep. 392 — Jon Stewart
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Jon Stewart is a comedian, writer, director, and former host of The Daily Show. He joins David to talk about President Trump’s out-of-touch messaging, the pervasiveness of systemic racism and inequity in America, how he worked to correct a lack of diversity at The Daily Show and why he still believes in American exceptionalism. He also discusses the inspiration for his new political satire Irresistible.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 25, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Mitch Landrieu
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This week we revisit our July 2017 conversation with former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He joins David to talk about his father’s journey in public service and his efforts to promote racial justice in the South, rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, his decision to remove Confederate monuments from the city, and why Democrats shouldn’t write off another Trump victory.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 22, 2020
Ep. 391 — Charlie Sykes
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Charlie Sykes is a longtime conservative commentator and the founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark. He joins David to talk about his father’s roots in Democratic politics, the growing politicization of the media over the course of his career, why he no longer considers himself a member of the Republican Party, and his assessment of the state of play in his home state of Wisconsin ahead of the November election.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 18, 2020
Ep. 390 — Bakari Sellers
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Bakari Sellers is a political commentator, attorney, and former South Carolina state representative. He joins David to talk about how growing up in a rural South Carolina community shaped his life’s work, his father’s leadership during the civil rights movement, and what, if anything, he believes today’s fight for racial justice might achieve. His new memoir, My Vanishing Country, situates his own story in the context of declining prosperity for the black working class in the rural South.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 15, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Cranston
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We revisit our April 2019 conversation with Bryan Cranston, actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He joins David to talk about finding truth in acting, challenges posed by inhabiting larger-than-life figures, the parallels between acting and politics, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 11, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Ta-Nehisi Coates
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This week we revisit our October 2017 conversation with author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. He joins David to talk about his upbringing in Baltimore, his career in journalism, race relations in America, reflections on the Obama presidency, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 08, 2020
Ep. 389 — Mark Cuban
3631

Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, television personality, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He joins David to discuss the origins of his entrepreneurial spirit, what he learned from his early failures in business, his assessment of Donald Trump’s presidency, and whether he sees politics in his own future. He also shares his reflections on this difficult moment in our country, what inspired him to join the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and how he is challenging himself to recognize his own privilege.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 04, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Stevenson
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This week we revisit our December 2018 conversation with Bryan Stevenson: civil rights activist, lawyer, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal aid to prisoners lacking representation. He joins David to talk about his experience growing up in a segregated county in southern Delaware, what it will take to confront America’s brutal legacy on race, his mission to provide legal aid to those disenfranchised by the U.S. criminal justice system, and more.

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Jun 01, 2020
Ep. 388 — Ezra Klein
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Ezra Klein is a journalist and co-founder of Vox, where he currently serves as the editor-at-large. He joins David to talk about his evolution from obscure blogger to national political commentator, his early work on the Howard Dean campaign, his assessment of the current presidential race, and more. His new book, Why We’re Polarized, explores the structural and psychological forces behind America’s growing political divisions and offers prescriptions to help remedy them. 

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May 28, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Admiral William McRaven
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In honor of Memorial Day we revisit our September 2019 conversation with Admiral William McRaven, retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations from 2011 to 2014. He joins David to talk about his decision to serve in the military, his assessment of the Trump administration, and his most memorable missions — including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 25, 2020
Ep. 387 — Gene Sperling
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Gene Sperling is the former Director of the National Economic Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He joins David to share how his parents’ fight for racial and economic justice shaped his values, what his time in two presidential administrations taught him about the power of economic policy, how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the country to rethink everything from workers’ rights to budget deficits, and more.

His new book, Economic Dignity, draws on decades of economic policy experience to offer market reforms that would secure greater economic dignity for American workers.  

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May 21, 2020
Ep. 386 — Mayor Lori Lightfoot
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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot joins David to talk about managing the COVID crisis and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, the consequences of federal misdirection, and the possibility of reopening the city in stages over the coming months. She also shares her personal story: growing up a minority in a predominantly white Ohio community, her career in law enforcement, and her path to become the first black female and openly LGBTQ mayor of Chicago.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 18, 2020
Ep. 385 — Mary Kay Henry
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Mary Kay Henry is the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an organization of more than 2 million union members in health care, the public sector, and beyond. She joins David to talk about the many SEIU members who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19, her concerns about the politicization of the federal pandemic response, her assessment of union members’ attitudes towards President Trump, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 14, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Aaron Sorkin
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We revisit our May 2019 conversation with Aaron Sorkin: screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright. He joins David to talk about the qualities that make a great speechwriter, how writing for the screen differs from writing for the stage, creating “The West Wing,” his struggle with addiction, and more.

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May 11, 2020
Ep. 384 — Gayle Smith
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Gayle Smith is the president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and the former administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She joins David to talk about her two decades spent in Africa as a young journalist and NGO worker, insights from her career in global development and humanitarian assistance, efforts to combat the Ebola epidemic in the Obama administration, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 07, 2020
Ep. 383 — Megan Rapinoe
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Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, joins David to talk about growing up in a small conservative town, finding and forging her identity, her decorated soccer career and World Cup wins, and on using her platform to engage in progressive activism: from LGBTQ and racial justice to equal pay, electoral politics, and more.

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May 04, 2020
Ep. 382 — Cecilia Muñoz
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Cecilia Muñoz is the former Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration and currently serves as Vice President for Public Interest Technology and Local Initiatives at New America, a public policy think tank. She joins David to talk about growing up as one of the few Latinas in a Midwestern town, her trailblazing work in civil rights advocacy and journey to the White House, Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, and more.

Her new book, More Than Ready, draws lessons from the challenges she faced as the first Hispanic to serve as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and offers insights to other young women seeking to forge paths of their own.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 30, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: José Andrés
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We revisit our 2018 conversation with world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés. He joins David to talk about becoming a United States citizen, his passion for cooking, his crisis relief efforts, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 27, 2020
Ep. 381 — Stacey Abrams
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Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee and founder of Fair Fight 2020, joins David to talk about inequities in Georgia's public health infrastructure, voter suppression and her efforts to remedy it, her own journey in public service, and vice presidential speculation. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 23, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Steve Kerr
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We revisit our 2016 conversation with Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He sits down with David to discuss his upbringing in the Middle East, the qualities of exceptional athletes, his coaching philosophy, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 20, 2020
Ep. 380 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
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Gretchen Whitmer is the 49th governor of Michigan. She joins David to talk about leading her state during the COVID-19 pandemic and her assessment of the federal response, as well as her journey in public service and her response to speculation she could become Joe Biden’s running mate.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 16, 2020
Ep. 379 — Chris Christie
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Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, joins David to talk about what he’s learned throughout his thirty-year career in law and politics, his relationship with President Trump, what advice he would give to the administration during the present crisis, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 13, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Tom Hanks
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We revisit our 2017 Axe Files episode with Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, who joins David to talk about how he parlayed an early love of drama into a career, his most memorable roles, sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, Trump's relationship with the media, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 09, 2020
Best of The Axe Files: Doris Kearns Goodwin
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This week, we revisit our November 2016 conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. She joins David to talk about why storytelling is important in politics, the qualities that make a great leader — particularly during trying times — what she learned from studying our nation's greatest leaders, and more.

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Apr 06, 2020
Ep. 378 — Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, professor, and the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. He joins David to share his insights into the present crisis, his assessment of the government’s response to COVID-19, and what steps we can take to mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic. Dr. Gupta and David also discuss his remarkable personal story—including his foray into journalism, how difficult it is to deliver bad news as a doctor, and whether he thinks universal healthcare is compatible with high-quality care.

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Apr 02, 2020
Ep. 377 — Gerald Butts
4365

Gerald Butts is the former chief adviser and strategist to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He joins David to talk about the early friendship he forged with Trudeau as college debate partners, what he believes it takes to run a successful national campaign, the state of U.S.-Canadian relations in the age of Trump, and his efforts to combat climate change.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 30, 2020
Ep. 376 — Ron Klain
3194

Ron Klain is the former Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden and served as the Ebola Response Coordinator in 2014 under President Obama. He joins David to talk about the COVID-19 crisis: relevant lessons he learned from managing the Ebola epidemic, his assessment of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, and what we can do to mitigate the coronavirus’ long-term impact. He also shares his take on the 2020 campaign and why he believes his longtime boss, Joe Biden – whose campaign he is advising – is uniquely equipped to handle the politics of the moment.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 23, 2020
Ep. 375 — Denis McDonough
3055

Denis McDonough is the former White House Chief of Staff and former Deputy National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama. As the world faces the reality of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, he joins David to discuss what it’s like to be in the White House in times of crisis, the steps the Obama White House took to quell public health emergencies like H1N1 and Ebola, and shares his assessment of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 16, 2020
Ep. 374 — Rep. Abigail Spanberger
3758

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) joins David to discuss her career as a CIA operations officer and federal law enforcement agent, the series of events that drove her to run for public office in 2018, and why she ultimately chose to support the impeachment of President Trump. She also weighs in on what having Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee would mean for her reelection campaign, what it is like to be a member of Congress in a polarized environment, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 09, 2020
Ep. 373 — Andrew Gillum
3725

Andrew Gillum is the former Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida and the 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee. He joins David to talk about the state of the 2020 Democratic primary in the aftermath of Super Tuesday. The first in his family to graduate from high school and college, he shares the inspiring personal journey that led him to become the youngest person ever elected to Tallahassee’s City Commission. He and David also discuss his tenure as mayor, his run for governor, why he’s decided to turn his attention to voter registration efforts, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 05, 2020
Ep. 372 — Paul Krugman
3807

Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. He joins David to talk about why he decided to pursue a career in economics, the qualities that make a great writer, his assessment of the Trump administration’s economic initiatives, and the way in which economics animates public policy in climate change, health care, and more. 


His new book, Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future draws from his New York Times column to tackle misunderstandings on a wide range of topics — including health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, and Social Security.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 02, 2020
Ep. 371 — Adam Frankel
3355

Adam Frankel is a former senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama. He joins David to discuss his new memoir, “The Survivors: A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing.” The book is a remarkable story of family secrets, intergenerational trauma, and the process of coming to terms with life-changing revelations. He and David also discuss his family’s legacy of public service, their shared experience working for Barack Obama, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 24, 2020
Ep. 370 — Abdul El-Sayed
3630

Abdul El-Sayed is a public health expert, former Health Commissioner of the City of Detroit, progressive activist, and former Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate. He joins David to talk about how his Egyptian-American heritage shaped his appreciation for democratic ideals and institutions, his career in medicine and what he learned as a practitioner, and why he supports Bernie Sanders’ progressive agenda. His forthcoming book, Healing Politics: A Doctor's Note on Treating the Insecurity Epidemic, diagnoses our country’s epidemic of insecurity and the empathy politics we need to treat it.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 20, 2020
Ep. 369 — Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
3512

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are Pulitzer-Prize winning authors and journalists. They join David for a live edition of The Axe Files to talk about how their families’ immigrant stories inform their own views, how lessons from their coverage of the Tiannamen Square protests may be relevant today, and how the threat of a rising China might push us to reevaluate our own economic system. They also discuss their new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, which illustrates the present-day working class crisis marked by poverty, addiction, and suicide — and offer policy prescriptions to address institutional failures.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 17, 2020
Ep. 368 — Rep. Adam Schiff
3626

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and served as lead House manager in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. He joins David to share his assessment of the impeachment proceedings and beyond: including why he believes the impeachment trial was worth the political risk; what, if anything, the process accomplished; the significance of Sen. Mitt Romney’s unprecedented vote; what Trump’s acquittal might mean for the future of democratic institutions; and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 13, 2020
Ep. 367 — Michele Norris
3467

Michele Norris, former host of NPR’s All Things Considered, joins David to talk about how her family’s firsthand experience with housing discrimination shaped her world view, her struggle as a fledgling television reporter to overcome a speech impediment, her friendship with Michelle Obama, and how The Race Card Project — an initiative she founded in order to foster a wider conversation about race — might inform our politics today. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 10, 2020
Ep. 366 — David Gergen
3729

David Gergen is a former presidential adviser and CNN political commentator. He joins David to talk about how Trump’s State of the Union could shape his reelection chances, the electoral challenges Democrats face, and which Democratic hopeful’s message he likens to Obama’s and Carter’s. He draws on five decades of experience across four administrations — Democratic and Republican alike — to situate Trump’s leadership style in the context of his presidential predecessors and shares what he thinks it could mean for the future of democratic institutions.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 06, 2020
Ep. 365 — Judd Apatow
3371

Judd Apatow is a filmmaker, writer, and comedian. He joins David to talk about how his parents’ divorce helped fuel his interest in comedy, his struggles with anxiety at the height of his career, the psychology behind Trump’s political prowess, how Hollywood culture parallels that of Washington, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 03, 2020
Ep. 364 — Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch)
3495

Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are the co-founders of Fusion GPS, the private research firm behind the Steele “Trump-Russia” dossier. Simpson and Fritsch join David to discuss their joint roots as Wall Street Journal reporters, how the research skills they developed as journalists translated to careers in private investigative work, how they met Christopher Steele and the formulation of the Steele Dossier, and what they learned about Donald Trump following a private investigation of then-candidate Trump.


Their new book, Crime in Progress, takes readers inside the firm’s four-year-long investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties—culminating in what became known as the Steele dossier. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 30, 2020
Ep. 363 — John Heilemann
3744

John Heilemann is a journalist, author, television commentator, editor-in-chief of The Recount, and host of Showtime’s The Circus. He joins David fresh from a swing through Iowa to share his assessment of the leading Democratic candidates, what he thinks matters most to voters in Iowa, why he believes Trump is politically underestimated, and whether or not impeachment will impact Trump in 2020.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jan 27, 2020
Ep. 362 — Heather McGhee
3733

Heather McGhee is the former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive think tank devoted to racial justice. She joins David to talk about her upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the evolution of race relations in the United States, the weaponization of race in present-day politics, and the future of inequality in America. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 30, 2019
Ep. 361 — Sarah Hurwitz
3572

Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama and senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama, joins David to discuss her early career in politics, the art of speechwriting, and the spiritual journey that culminated in her new book: Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life-- in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 23, 2019
Ep. 360 – Richard Stengel
3842

Richard Stengel is the former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former managing editor of Time. He joins David to talk about his collaboration with Nelson Mandela on Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom; his tenure at the helm of Time, during which he interviewed Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohamed Morsi, and Julian Assange; and his efforts in the Obama administration to combat disinformation. His new book, Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It chronicles the global spread of disinformation and offers prescriptions on how to combat this ever-growing threat to democracy.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 16, 2019
Ep. 359 – Andrew Yang
3955

Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang joins David for a live edition of The Axe Files to discuss why he abandoned a career in law to build his own business, how rapid technological growth is shaping our society both socially and economically, the rationale behind his ‘Freedom Dividend,’ how raising an autistic son shapes his perspective in life and on the campaign trail, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 05, 2019
Ep. 358 – Gary Cohn
3735

Gary Cohn served as the Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Trump. He joins David to talk about how an early dyslexia diagnosis shaped his drive to succeed; his tenure at Goldman Sachs, particularly as an executive during the 2008 financial crisis; why he decided to serve under President Trump despite differences on trade, climate, and immigration; his concerns about the absence of dissenters in the White House; and much more. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Dec 02, 2019
Ep. 357 – Amb. Dennis Ross
4062

Dennis Ross is a diplomat and author with over four decades of experience in Middle East policy. He joins David to talk about his service under six presidential administrations, how the political climate in the Middle East has evolved, and the status of America’s diplomatic efforts under the Trump administration. His new book, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, explores the stories of the founding leaders of Israel—both the challenges they faced and the resolve they showed in the struggle to protect the fledgling democracy. 


For the full episode visit luminary.link/axe.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 25, 2019
Ep. 356 – Samantha Power
4303

Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, joins David to talk about the journey from her childhood in Ireland to the halls of the U.N. — and the trials she faced along the way. She shares the experiences that compelled her to become a Balkan War correspondent, how what she saw there inspired her to author a Pulitzer-prize winning book on genocide, and the human rights causes that drew her to then-senator Barack Obama.

She also shares her thoughts on the hollowing out of the State Department, Trump’s attempt to politicize service officers and institutions, U.S. credibility and the state of our global alliances, and what an emboldened Putin and Erdogan means for the global order.

Her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, documents this journey—and the lessons she picked up along the way.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 18, 2019
Ep. 355 – Cindy McCain (TV)
4818

Cindy McCain joins David for a special televised edition of the Axe Files on CNN to discuss President Trump and the state of the Republican party, her advocacy on human trafficking issues, the toll living a public life took on her and her family, and her mission to carry on the legacy of her husband, the late Senator John McCain.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 10, 2019
Ep. 354 – Dikembe Mutombo
3677

NBA Hall of Famer and humanitarian Dikembe Mutombo joins David for a conversation about his upbringing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, how an international science competition ultimately steered him to the Georgetown Hoyas’ basketball team, his decorated 18-season career in the NBA, and his worldwide humanitarian initiatives with the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Nov 04, 2019
Ep. 352 – Admiral Michael Mullen
3902

Admiral Mike Mullen, formerly the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joins David to discuss President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, the state of our alliances today, his historic testimony in support of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and his upbringing as the son of a Hollywood publicist.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 22, 2019
Ep. 351 – Harry Reid (TV)
3841

Harry Reid, former U.S. Senator from Nevada and Senate Majority Leader, sits down with David in Las Vegas, NV for a special televised edition of The Axe Files. In this extended version of the conversation, they talk about his tenure as Senate Majority Leader and how the role has changed under Mitch McConnell’s leadership, Reid’s unique relationship with Barack Obama, his take on Donald Trump and the impeachment inquiry, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 14, 2019
Ep. 350 – Gov. Gina Raimondo
4447

Gina Raimondo, governor of Rhode Island and Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, joins David to talk about how her father’s early job loss moved her to enter public service, what Democrats running in 2020 can learn from the governors who ran successfully in 2018, and how her role as governor has changed in the age of Trump.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Oct 07, 2019
Ep. 349 – Admiral William McRaven
3726

Admiral William McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations from 2011 to 2014. He joins David to talk about his foray into military service, his disagreements with Donald Trump, and his most memorable missions — including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. His new book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, is a look back on over three decades of service.

For more episodes of The Axe Files, visit LuminaryPodcasts.com

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 30, 2019
Ep. 348 — George Will
3469

Conservative commentator and columnist George Will discusses how Trump has dismantled political norms and whether a return to civility is possible. He answers whether the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi should push harder for impeachment or if the political waters are too difficult to navigate.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 23, 2019
Ep. 347 – Eric Holder (TV)
3929

Former Attorney General Eric Holder joins David on the CNN edition of the Axe Files to discuss potential impeachment proceedings, his advice for 2020 candidates, the long-term implications of Trump’s attacks on our institutions, and the arc of his historic career which ultimately led him to become the nation’s first African American Attorney General. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Sep 15, 2019
The Axe Files Goes to Iowa
3365

For this month’s episode of the Axe Files on CNN, we took the show on the road and traveled across Iowa during a whirlwind week of campaigning at the state fair and beyond. We spoke with candidates, organizers, and voters, whose first-in-the nation votes will define the Democratic race. In the podcast version of the show, we hear directly from those voters on the issues that matter to them, what they’re thinking about the race and their role in the process.  

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Aug 25, 2019
Ep. 342 — Will Hurd
3851

Rep. Will Hurd joins David Axelrod from his congressional office Washington, D.C. office for an episode of The Axe Files.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jul 29, 2019
Ep. 340 — Pete Buttigieg (TV)
4619

Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, joins David for a televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He makes the case for why his executive experience as mayor prepares him for the presidency, talks racial tensions in South Bend and his plan forward, what he learned from his military service in Afghanistan, why he waited until his thirties to come out as gay, and more. 

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Jul 14, 2019
Ep. 338 - David Remnick
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David Remnick is a journalist, author, and editor of The New Yorker magazine. He joins the show to talk about the New Yorker’s feature on Hunter Biden, covering Russia as a young reporter for the Washington Post, his philosophy as an editor, and the life lessons he’s learned from caring for his child with autism.

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Jul 01, 2019
Hacks on Tap – Double-Whammy in Miami: Dem Debate Preview
3287

Hacks on Tap is the latest podcast from David Axelrod, giving listeners weekly insight into the 2020 presidential race. This week the hacks talk Biden and Buttigieg’s tough week with race relations, escalating tensions with Iran, and preview this week’s Democratic debates with guest hack Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. David and Mike also dig into the mail bag, taking listeners’ questions on the electoral college, the relative advantages of the Democratic primary system, and which 2020 Democratic campaign they’d least like to helm.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 25, 2019
Robert Gates (TV)
4191

Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss his long career serving eight presidents, his thoughts on global tensions and America’s standing in the world today, and his experience with 2020 hopeful Joe Biden.  

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Jun 09, 2019
Bonus: Fiasco, from Leon Neyfakh
3103

In this debut episode of Fiasco: how the largely forgotten race between Al Gore and George W. Bush roiled Florida long before anyone had ever heard of a hanging chad.  

For more from "Fiasco", go to LuminaryPodcasts.com.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 30, 2019
Ep. 327 – Janet Napolitano
3635

Janet Napolitano is the former Secretary of Homeland Security and two-term Governor of Arizona. She joins the show to talk about her long career in both law and politics, including her role in Anita Hill trial, how she addressed immigration issues as the governor of a border state, and her service in the Obama administration.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 16, 2019
Ep. 326 - Sen. Cory Booker (TV)
4754

The New Jersey Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate joins David for The Axe Files on CNN in this extended conversation about his career in politics and the issues driving his run for the presidency.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 12, 2019
Ep. 325 — Bill Burns
3690

Bill Burns is the former Ambassador to the Russian Federation under President Obama and currently serves as the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He joins David to talk about his three-decade career as a foreign service officer for the United States, why 9/11 rendered foreign diplomacy more important than ever, what he learned upon meeting Vladimir Putin, and his take on the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy. His new book, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, gives readers a rare look at American diplomacy in action.

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May 09, 2019
Bonus: Deep Background with Noah Feldman
2587

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and the former dean of admissions at Yale Law School, gives us a unique perspective on the college admissions scandal.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 09, 2019
Ep. 324 — Jason Rezaian
3575

Jason Rezaian is an author, CNN contributor, and opinion writer for the Washington Post. In 2014, while working in Iran as the Tehran bureau chief for the Post, he and his wife were detained by the Iranian authorities on espionage charges. He was freed in a prisoner swap after spending nearly two years in a detention center. He joins David to talk about his harrowing experience and how he’s coped in the aftermath, as well as the state of U.S.-Iranian relations today.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

May 06, 2019
Ep. 323 — James Carville
3663

James Carville is a Democratic political strategist best known for his work as the lead strategist of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He joins David to talk about how growing up in segregated Carville, Louisiana motivated him to jump into politics, what he believes set Bill Clinton apart as a presidential contender, and what it will take for any 2020 hopeful to succeed.

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May 02, 2019
Ep. 322 — Bryan Cranston
3563

Bryan Cranston is an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter best known for his roles on Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle, and Seinfeld. He joins David to talk about acting as a catharsis, why inhabiting real-life figures poses a greater challenge than inhabiting fictional ones, the parallels between acting and politics, and much more. He currently stars in the Broadway adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1976 film Network, a prescient story about the perils of tabloid television and media.   

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Apr 29, 2019
Bonus: Trevor Noah
2594

Trevor Noah and David Kibuuka discuss the fire at Notre Dame and the ethics of philanthropy before being joined by Tiger Woods biographer Jeff Benedict to discuss one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. 

For more from "On Second Thought" go to LuminaryPodcasts.com

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Apr 26, 2019
Ep. 321 - Valerie Jarrett
3659

Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, sits down with David for a live taping of “The Axe Files” at the University of Chicago. Born in Iran to American parents, she discusses how growing up abroad shaped her world view; her family’s journey to Chicago; her foray into law and city politics; and shares anecdotes as one of Obama’s closest political and personal confidantes. Her new memoir, Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, charts her inspiring journey from the south side of Chicago to the Oval Office.

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Apr 23, 2019
The Axe Files
81

For more of The Axe Files, go to LuminaryPodcasts.com

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Apr 22, 2019
Ep. 320 — Rep. Jan Schakowsky
3687

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 9th district, a position she's held since 1999. She joins David to talk about her start in politics as a grassroots organizer, how early activism evolved into a career in public service, and her take on Congress today: from winning back the House majority to governing in the age of President Trump.

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Apr 18, 2019
Ep. 319 — Beto O'Rourke (TV)
5033

Former Texas congressmen Beto O’Rourke joins David on CNN to talk about his vision for the country, growing up as the son of a larger-than-life Texas politician, what the reality of life is like on the US-Mexico border, and more

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Apr 14, 2019
Special Announcement from The Axe Files
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We’re happy to announce that the Axe Files is joining the Luminary podcast network! Go to luminary.link/theaxefiles and sign up before April 22 to get your first three months for free and only $6.99 a month after that for the first year – which is $1 off the monthly subscription fee. The subscription fee allows us to deliver you episodes and our full archive completely ad-free. 

On April 23 you can download the Luminary app for free and listen to the Axe Files there. Then on May 20 our show will only be available on the Luminary app for Premium subscribers.

Luminary is a new podcast company that is exclusively devoted to podcasts. We will be joining them as a podcast for Premium subscribers, allowing us to deliver ad-free content to you in perpetuity. With a premium subscription you will have access to all of our future shows, ad-free archives, and dozens of other exclusive shows, including ones with hosts like Guy Raz, Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah, Leon Neyfakh the creator of Slow Burn, Hannibal Buress, Celeste Barber, and podcasts from Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco and Bill Simmons’ The Ringer. 

We love doing this show for you guys and there are many more great Axe Files conversations coming your way via Luminary.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 10, 2019
Ep. 318 - Tommy Vietor
3575

Tommy Vietor is the former National Security Council spokesman under President Obama and current host of Pod Save the World on the Crooked Media network. He joins David to talk about his journey on Team Obama—from driving the press van in Iowa to NSC spokesman—and what he learned along the way. Vietor also shares his view on the international crises in Syria, Venezuela, and Israel, assessing the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts to tackle these issues.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 08, 2019
Ep. 317 - Peter Roskam
3624

Peter Roskam is a former Republican congressman from Illinois. He joins David to talk about how he was caught up in the 2018 Democratic wave, what initially drew him into politics, the pathway to a more bipartisan Congress and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Apr 01, 2019
Ep. 316 — Alex Kotlowitz
3528

Journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz joins David to talk about his award-winning book on kids growing up in the Chicago housing projects, the mental toll writing that book took on him personally, the violence in Chicago today, and what he wants to focus on next.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 25, 2019
Ep. 315 — Jeb Bush (TV)
5504

Former Governor Jeb Bush joins the Axe Files on CNN to talk about the Bush family legacy of public service, Trump’s impact on the 2016 Republican primary, his personal connection to the issue of immigration, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 17, 2019
Ep. 314 - Alyssa Mastromonaco
3912

Alyssa Mastromonaco is an author and served as Barack Obama's deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the White House. She joins David to talk about her early experience interning for Bernie Sanders, working on Obama's 2008 campaign, transitioning back to life outside of the White House, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 11, 2019
Ep. 313 - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (TV)
4593

Elizabeth Warren is the Senator from Massachusetts and a Democratic presidential candidate. She joins David for the Axe Files on CNN in this extended conversation about her life, her candidacy, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Mar 03, 2019
Ep. 312 - Bill Kurtis
3830

Legendary broadcast journalist and news anchor Bill Kurtis joins the show to talk about the history he's witnessed from his many years covering the news, from being threatened by Charles Manson to his investigative work on the effects of Agent Orange on soldiers returning from Vietnam, and everything in between.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 28, 2019
Ep. 311 - Claire McCaskill
3366

Claire McCaskill, former Democratic U.S. Senator from Missouri, joins David to talk about the 2018 midterms race she narrowly lost in a state swept by Donald Trump by nearly 19 points in 2016. She also shares her take on governing and campaigning in a post-Trump political climate, the impending Mueller report, her evaluation of the slew of 2020 candidates, and much more. 

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 25, 2019
Ep. 310 - Michael Smerconish
3564

Michael Smerconish, is a journalist and host of the eponymous ‘Smerconish’ on CNN, as well as the host of “The Michael Smerconish Program” on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel. He joins David to talk about his early start in talk radio, the impact of the media on political polarization, why he considers his current work at CNN his most authentic yet, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 21, 2019
Ep. 309 — Lisa Madigan
3507

Lisa Madigan is the former State Attorney General for Illinois. She joins the show to talk about teaching in South Africa during the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, the Jason Van Dyke case in Chicago, her investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church, why she didn't run for governor, and more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 18, 2019
Ep. 308 — Kirsten Powers
3801

Kirsten Powers is an author, columnist for USA Today, and frequent contributor on CNN. She joins David to discuss her far-flung upbringing in Alaska, the personal struggles which she discussed openly in her columns, working for AOL during the dawn of the internet age, her experience as a liberal-leaning commentator for Fox News, and much more.

To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Feb 14, 2019
Ep. 307 — Nate Silver
4506

Nate Silver, statistician and founder of FiveThirtyEight, joins David to talk about how his early love of sports fused with a passion for statistical modeling, the bridge from sports modeling to predicting political races, the 2008 projections that catapulted him to national fame, and his take on the 2020 field—including why an analysis of five key groups within the Democratic party suggests Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke may have the best chance of securing the nomination, why early polls so often miss the mark, and why Howard Schultz’s potential impact on the race may not be as helpful to Trump as some pundits claim.

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Feb 11, 2019
Ep. 306 — Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
3741

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is the head of the House Democratic Caucus. He joins the show to discuss his reaction to the State of the Union address, how Democrats plan to respond, what he's looking for in a Democratic candidate in 2020, and much more.

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Feb 07, 2019
Ep. 305 - Josh Shapiro
3674

Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, joins David to discuss the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the elaborate cover-up scheme—one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history. Shapiro also shares his own journey in public service and the law, the importance of knocking on doors and listening to constituents, the ongoing investigation into Big Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis, his take on U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr, and why he believes a Democrat will take Pennsylvania in 2020.

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Feb 04, 2019
Ep. 304 — John Delaney
3916

Former Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate John Delaney joins the show to talk about his journey from a blue collar family to the founder of two publicly traded companies, his candidacy, and the issues facing the country.

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Jan 31, 2019
Ep. 303 - David Leonhardt
3892

David Leonhardt, author and op-ed columnist for The New York Times, joins David to discuss the state of the American economy, Democratic hopes in 2020, the prospect of impeachment, and much more.

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Jan 28, 2019
Ep. 302 - Stanley McChrystal
3821

Stanley McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army who led America’s Joint Special Operations Command and NATO forces in the War in Afghanistan. He joins David to share his view of Trump’s military policy both abroad and domestic, the famous resignation letter he handed President Obama in the wake of a bombshell Rolling Stone story, his take on former colleague Michael Flynn, and much more. His new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality profiles famous leaders from a range of fields to explore how leadership works in practice and challenge the myths that underlie our understanding of it.

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Jan 24, 2019
Ep. 301 — John Kerry (TV)
5652

Former Secretary of State John Kerry joins David for a televised version of the Axe Files to discuss the state of American foreign policy under Donald Trump, whether he’s considering a run for the White House in 2020, what he learned from a life of public service, his decorated service in Vietnam, and why he remains hopeful for the future.

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Jan 20, 2019
Ep. 300 - Sherrilyn Ifill
3568

Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She joins David to talk about how growing up in the heat of the civil rights movement inspired her to practice law, the impact of the present reversing of Obama-era policies designed to protect marginalized groups, contemporary race relations in America, her take on Attorney General nominee Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing, and much more.

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Jan 17, 2019
Ep. 299 - Miguel Cervantes
3760

Miguel Cervantes, star of the blockbuster Hamilton play in Chicago, sits down with David to talk about the years he spent auditioning prior to landing the leading role, the cultural phenomenon the play has become, and his daughter’s unexpected diagnosis with epilepsy – the news of which coincided with his landing the titular role.

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Jan 14, 2019
Ep. 298 - Ivo Daalder
3941

Ivo Daalder is the President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the former U.S. ambassador to NATO. He joins David to talk about the decline of American influence abroad and current vacuum in global leadership, the cost of abdicating international cooperation, how growing up outside of the U.S. impacted his appreciation for the United States, and his assessment of contemporary U.S. foreign policy in diplomatic hotspots including China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, and more. His new book, The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership, explores the erosion of American diplomacy and its impact on the postwar world order.

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Jan 10, 2019
Ep. 297 - Gov. J.B. Pritzker
3924

J.B. Pritzker, governor-elect of Illinois, joins David to discuss the unique challenges facing the state and his priorities moving forward, what surprised him upon meeting Donald Trump during the December governors meeting, and – despite his family’s storied wealth – the poignant series of events that struck the Pritzker clan when J.B. was young.

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Jan 07, 2019
Ep. 296 - Rep. Eric Swalwell
3881

Congressman Eric Swalwell represents California's 15th district and serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He joins the show to discuss the House investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, what the incoming Democratic majority in the House means for President Trump, and his ambitions for the 2020 race for president.

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Dec 20, 2018
Ep. 295 — Howard Wolfson
3962

Howard Wolfson is the former Deputy Mayor of New York City, counselor to former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chief strategist and communications director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and currently leads the Education division of Bloomberg Philanthropies. He joins David to talk about his mother’s battle with chronic depression, his decision to abandon journalism and pursue political strategy, the New York City media market and Donald Trump’s instinctive mastery of it, his experience working for Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Bloomberg – and the possibility of a 2020 presidential bid from Bloomberg.

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Dec 17, 2018
Ep. 294 — Al Hunt
3682

Political journalist Al Hunt, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, joins David to discuss his time covering Watergate, similarities and differences between Trump and Nixon in light of potential impeachment, and his own future in journalism.

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Dec 13, 2018
Ep. 293 — Rahm Emanuel (TV)
4832

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, joins David for a televised edition of the Axe Files to discuss how Democrats should take on the Trump administration, the biggest challenges of leading the Windy City, the Emanuel family dynamics that impelled him to the highest levels of U.S. government, and more.

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Dec 09, 2018
Ep. 292 — Bryan Stevenson
3644

Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer, activist, author, and founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal aid to prisoners lacking effective representation. He joins David to talk about his experience growing up in a segregated county in southern Delaware, the national narrative of racial difference prevailing even after the Civil War, its implications on present-day politics, and his personal mission to provide legal aid to those disenfranchised by the U.S. criminal justice system. His best-selling book, "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," chronicles the true stories of inmates on death row that Stevenson represented.

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Dec 06, 2018
Ep. 291 — Jeff Zucker
4141

Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, sits down with David to talk about how a rejection from Harvard Law School paved the way for his meteoric rise as a media executive; his break up with NBC; the health scares that nearly claimed his life; and his unique perspective on Donald Trump–whose reality TV career he helped launch. Zucker shares his philosophy of the modern news model, and CNN’s role within it, in the age of Trump – and much more.

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Dec 03, 2018
Ep. 290 — Amanda Carpenter
3817

Amanda Carpenter is a conservative commentator, author, and former senior communications advisor and speechwriter to Senator Ted Cruz. She sits down with David to discuss the challenges of being raised by a single mother, the sports injury that fatefully led her to journalism, Trump’s rebranding of the Republican Party, her take on Beto O’Rourke’s unlikely campaign against Sen. Cruz, and more. Her book, Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us, draws on her experience as a top aide to Sen. Cruz to deconstruct Trump’s manipulative “fake narrative” strategies and prescribes ways in which to withstand it.

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Nov 29, 2018
Ep. 289 — Chris Dodd
4096

Chris Dodd is the former and longest-serving U.S. Senator from Connecticut. He joins David to talk about the influence of his late father, Sen. Thomas Dodd; the formative friendships he forged and lessons learned throughout his nearly four decades of serving in Congress; his motivation behind co-authoring the Dodd Frank Act, a massive piece of financial reform legislation; and why he believes there is reason to be optimistic about the future of American politics.

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Nov 26, 2018
Ep. 288 — Barack Obama (Live)
4416

Former President of the United States Barack Obama sits down with David in Hyde Park for a special live taping of the Axe Files. Their conversation touches on the Obamas' life in the Hyde Park community, the sacrifices his family made for his political career, his biggest regret from his time in the presidency, the politics of race in America, increasing political polarization, and much more.

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Nov 20, 2018
Ep. 287 - Sonia Sotomayor
3725

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joins David on the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the shifting dynamics on the bench after Brett Kavanaugh’s bitter confirmation battle, her personal ties to Puerto Rico and whether the response to Hurricane Maria was adequate, and her journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land.

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Nov 18, 2018
Ep. 286 — Mark Salter
3915

Mark Salter is a longtime advisor and speechwriter to Senator John McCain. He joins David to talk about the early literary influences that shaped both his and his late boss’s political philosophies, the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice presidential pick and its broader political impact, the life and legacy of John McCain, and why Salter believes Trumpism will lead to the extinction of the Republican Party as we know it.

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Nov 15, 2018
Ep. 285 — Gloria Borger
3552

Gloria Borger is a political pundit, journalist, and columnist who currently commentates as a chief political analyst for CNN. She sits down with David the day after Tuesday’s midterm elections to share her take on the outcome and why she believes we are experiencing a realignment in American politics. The conversation also spans Borger’s foray into journalism and the formative experiences she’s faced throughout her life and career: from entering Colgate University as part of the first class of female students, to the challenges she’s faced as a woman in political media.

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Nov 12, 2018
Ep. 284 — Jen Psaki
3560

Jen Psaki is the former White House Communications Director and White House Deputy Press Secretary under President Obama. She joins David after the midterms to discuss the implications of the results and their impact on the political landscape as well as Psaki’s personal political journey: from knocking on doors for Governor Vilsack in Iowa to helming the Obama communications shop in the White House.

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Nov 08, 2018
Ep. 283 - Arnold Schwarzenegger
4481

Bodybuilder, actor, and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about his rise from a humble Austrian village to an American cultural icon and his views on contemporary politics, the #MeToo movement, and more.

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Nov 04, 2018
Ep. 282 — Steve Brill
3811

Author and journalist Steve Brill joins David to talk about his new project NewsGuard, which uses journalism to fight fake news, as well as his long career in business and journalism.

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Nov 01, 2018
Ep. 281 — Steve Schmidt
4243

Steve Schmidt is former Republican campaign strategist, who notably ran the 2008 John McCain campaign for the presidency. Since the election of Donald Trump he has left the Republican Party to become independent and appears as a commentator on MSNBC. He joins David to discuss the fateful nomination of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, the connection between her and Donald Trump, as well as his storied career in politics.

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Oct 29, 2018
Ep. 280 - Jonah Goldberg
3875

Jonah Goldberg is an author and columnist for the National Review. He joins David to discuss his roots in journalism, how a family tragedy shaped his view on the War on Drugs, and his criticisms of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

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Oct 25, 2018
Ep. 279 — Jeff Weaver
3562

Jeff Weaver was the campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. He joins the show to discuss Sanders' unique appeal to voters, what it was like to run against Hillary Clinton, the landscape of 2020, and more.

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Oct 22, 2018
Ep. 278 — Mary Katharine Ham
3615

Mary Katharine Ham is a journalist and conservative commentator on CNN. She joins David to discuss fake news, Nikki Haley, the cultural issues dividing the country, and the Republican Party's Faustian bargain with Donald Trump.

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Oct 18, 2018
Ep. 277 — Khizr Khan
3999

Khizr Khan is a Gold Star father best known for his iconic speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention honoring his late son, Humayan Khan, a U.S. Army captain killed in the Iraq War. He joins David to discuss what led him from poverty in Pakistan to the pursuit of law in the United States, the experiences that informed his belief in American exceptionalism, his son’s military service and the day he died, and the impact Donald Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims and immigrants has both domestically and globally.

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Oct 15, 2018
Ep. 276 — Ana Navarro
3502

Ana Navarro, GOP strategist and political commentator for CNN, joins David to talk about how her Nicaraguan upbringing shapes her view of U.S. immigration policy, the impact of the evolving landscape of the Republican Party and what she dubs the “Trumpification” of the GOP, and how the increasingly tribal nature of our politics is shaping institutions from Congress to the courts.

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Oct 11, 2018
Ep. 275 — Steven Pearlstein
3826

Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post. He joins David to chat about his beginnings in business writing, how to interpret the country’s record levels of deficit and present state of the economy, and the potential impact Brett Kavanaugh will have on the Supreme Court. They also discuss Pearlstein’s new book – Can American Capitalism Survive? – which explores how American capitalism has lost its moral legitimacy.

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Oct 08, 2018
Ep. 274 - Chuck Todd
3771

Chuck Todd is a longtime political journalist and current host of NBC's Meet the Press. He joins David to talk about his father’s struggle with alcoholism and the impact of his premature death; the celebrification of politics and the 21st-century media strategy he thinks works; and what he believes to be both Donald Trump’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.

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Oct 04, 2018
Ep. 273 — Gov. Steve Bullock
3696

Montana Governor Steve Bullock joins the show to discuss the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, how Democrats can win back voters in rural states, his work on the opiod epidemic, money in politics, and more.

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Oct 01, 2018
Ep. 272 — Roberta Jacobson
3905

Roberta Jacobson is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico until May of 2018. She joins David to discuss the diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Mexico, the Trump administration's relationship with the United Nations, her work normalizing relations with Cuba under the Obama administration, and more.

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Sep 27, 2018
Ep. 271 — Peter Sagal
3496

Peter Sagal is the author of The Incomplete Book of Running and host of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He joins David to discuss a variety of topics including getting passed on by the Harvard Lampoon, appearing on Jeopardy as struggling writer in Los Angeles, his early work as a playwright, and crossing the finish line just minutes before the attack on the Boston Marathon.

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Sep 24, 2018
Ep. 270 — Bob Shrum
3690

Bob Shrum is a longtime Democratic campaign strategist and speechwriter. He joins David to discuss his new Institute for the Political Future, volunteering for Citizens for Kennedy as a college student, how to marry a candidate with a message, and much more.

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Sep 20, 2018
Ep. 269 — Deval Patrick (TV)
4574

Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts and civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman, sits down for a special televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He talks with David about his upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the significance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, his take on the Trump administration, and whether or not he plans to run for president in 2020.

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Sep 16, 2018
Ep. 268 — Susan Glasser
3872

Susan Glasser is a preeminent political journalist with nearly three decades of reporting experience spanning foreign policy, domestic politics, and war correspondence. She joins David to talk about her experience as co-chief of the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau under the auspices of the early Putin regime; what she gleaned from conducting the first interview Vladimir Putin granted to American correspondents in 2001, and how authoritarian qualities endemic to Putin’s Russia undergird aspects of American politics today.

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Sep 13, 2018
Ep. 267 — Jon Lovett
3819

Pod Save America co-host and former speechwriter for President Barack Obama Jon Lovett joins the show to talk about the art of speechwriting, his experience working with Hillary Clinton prior to joining the Obama White House, and what the future holds for Crooked Media.

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Sep 10, 2018
Ep. 266 — Austan Goolsbee
3815

Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee joins David to discuss the major economic policy decisions under Bush and Obama, the ongoing trade negotiations with Mexico, how the government can effectively intervene in a changing economy, and his strategy for beating Ted Cruz in a debate.

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Sep 03, 2018
Ep. 265 — Rep. Mike Quigley
3863

Mike Quigley is the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 5th congressional district, serving on the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees. He joins David to talk about the importance of local politics, the challenges of working in a highly polarized congressional environment, and what Russian interference portends for this administration.

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Aug 27, 2018
Ep. 264 — Dean Baquet & Marty Baron
5401

Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, the Executive Editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post respectively, join David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the challenges of covering the Trump presidency, the unprecedented attacks on the free press, the power of journalism to change history, and the trajectory of their storied careers from reporters to editors.

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Aug 19, 2018
Ep. 263 — Ace Smith
3610

Averell “Ace” Smith is a political opposition researcher whose career has spanned campaigns for Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, and the Clintons. He sits down with David to talk about the ways in which political research is an essential craft to get right on campaigns; the unheeded letter he wrote to Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 campaign, and about his new book on Satchel Paige, The Pitcher and the Dictator.

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Aug 13, 2018
Ep. 262 — Judy Woodruff
3847

Judy Woodruff is a longtime broadcast journalist and current anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Judy sits down with David to talk about the regional blind spots afflicting network news, the relationship between Trump and Fox News, and witnessing the assassination attempt on Ronald Regan.

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Aug 06, 2018
Ep. 261 - Anne Burke
3570

Part two of our Special Olympics series. Anne Burke, founder of the Special Olympics and a Supreme Court Justice in Illinois for the First Judicial District, joins David to talk about how coming to terms with her own disability undergirded her decision to help those with special needs, why Eunice Kennedy’s use of the word “unacceptable” defined Anne’s fight for the cause, and how adopting several foster children from abject circumstances shaped her world view.

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Aug 02, 2018
Ep. 260 - Tim Shriver
3652

Part one of this week’s two episode series honoring the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. Timothy Shriver is the Chairman of the Special Olympics and son of legendary public servants Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. He sits down with David to talk about growing up in a family nestled in the public eye, the little-known impact of the “forgotten” Kennedy sibling, Rosemary, and why Tim has devoted his life’s work to leveling the playing field for people with special needs.

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Jul 30, 2018
Ep. 259 — Mitch Landrieu (TV)
3939

Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu rejoins the show in this extended version of a conversation from the Axe Files on CNN.

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Jul 22, 2018
Ep. 258 — Dan Pfeiffer
3883

Dan Pfeiffer is a former Senior Advisor to Barack Obama, co-host on the Pod Save America podcast, and author of the book Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump. He joins David to discuss his time in the Obama White House, the balance between civility and protest, the Supreme Court battle, and more.

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Jul 16, 2018
Ep. 257 — John King Jr.
3683

John King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama, sits down with David to talk about losing his parents at a young age, the impact of the Trump administration's affirmative action rollback, and how getting booted out of his high school ultimately motivated his decision to devote his life to improving educational outcomes for students. 

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Jul 09, 2018
Ep. 256 — Nneka Jones Tapia
3520

Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia is a clinical psychologist who in 2015 became the Executive Director of the Cook County Jail, the largest jail in America. She was the first mental health professional to run a jail in the US. The Cook County Sheriff calls the jail the largest mental health institution in the country. Nneka joins David to discuss her own experience growing up with an incarcerated father, her time at the Cook County Jail, and her new role with Chicago Beyond, where she will focus on how to better support children with incarcerated parents.

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Jul 02, 2018
Ep. 255 — Mike Barnicle
3567

MSNBC contributor and former columnist Mike Barnicle.

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Jun 28, 2018
Ep. 254 — Sen. Marco Rubio
4298

Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the ongoing battle at the border, the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, the Mueller investigation, and Republicans’ relationship with the President.

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Jun 24, 2018
Ep. 253 — John Farrell
3850

John Farrell, award-winning presidential historian and journalist, joins David to chat about why local newspapers now struggle for survival, his work on the Boston Globe’s famous ‘Spotlight’ team, and why he thinks our current political climate is a product of the Nixon era.

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Jun 21, 2018
Ep. 252 — Rachel Maddow
4128

Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, joins David to talk about growing up as a liberal activist in a conservative town, her unique philosophy on newscasting in the Trump era, and lessons she’s learned from her lifelong battle with cyclical depression.

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Jun 18, 2018
Ep. 251 — Ray Mabus
4077

Ray Mabus, former U.S. Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Mississippi, joins David to talk about his upbringing in the heart of the South during the Civil Rights movement, what Mississippi‘s shifting political landscape portends for 2018 and 2020, and the reality of U.S. military preparedness in the face of global conflict.

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Jun 14, 2018
Ep. 250 — Tom Donilon
4022

Tom Donilon, former National Security Adviser to Barack Obama, chats with David Axelrod about his experience running President Jimmy Carter’s delegate operation during Ted Kennedy’s 1980 convention challenge as a 23-year-old, why he believes the U.S. pulling out the Iran Nuclear Deal was the worst diplomatic move since the Iraq War, and why a strategy that focuses on bilateral deals poses a structural problem for U.S. foreign policy interests – particularly when it comes to China.

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Jun 11, 2018
Ep. 249 — Ronan Farrow
4027

Ronan Farrow is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New Yorker, former State Department official under President Barack Obama, and author of the new best-selling book War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence. He joins David to discuss his experiences growing up in a famous family with 13 siblings, his formative years working in the State Department under the wing of legendary diplomat Richard Holbrooke, and his near-thwarted efforts to publish the blockbuster account of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers—credited with spawning the international #MeToo movement.

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Jun 07, 2018
Ep. 248 — Savannah Guthrie
3753

Savannah Guthrie is a journalist, attorney, and co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today. She recently sat down with David to talk about the impact of losing her father at a young age, how her Christian faith undergirded her journey from high-school slacker to Georgetown law standout, and her take on former Today co-host Matt Lauer’s firing following a slew of sexual assault allegations.

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Jun 04, 2018
Ep. 247 — James Clapper
3851

James Clapper is the former Director of National Intelligence and the author of a new book, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. His long career in military intelligence spans some of the most significant national security challenges in U.S. history, including Russian interference in the 2016 election. James Clapper joins David for discussion on his life of service, the impact of Russia on the outcome of the election, what can come of a summit with North Korea, and much more.

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May 31, 2018
Ep. 246 — Sally Yates
3671

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, in an extended conversation with David Axelrod from the Axe Files TV show on CNN, talks about her formative experiences in the law as well as her tenure as acting Attorney General and the legal travails of the Trump administration.

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May 27, 2018
Ep. 245 — Michael McFaul
4105

Michael McFaul is the former U.S. ambassador to Russia and author of the book "From Cold War to Hot Peace," which chronicles U.S.-Russia relations during the Obama administration. He joins David Axelrod to talk about his path from Montana to Moscow, his early involvement in Democratic movements, Putin's Russia, and much more.

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May 24, 2018
Ep. 244 — Steve Israel
3628

Former congressman and novelist Steve Israel joins the show to discuss his new book on the gun lobby, the future of gun reform, the Democratic Party's chances of retaking the House, and more.

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May 21, 2018
Ep. 243 — José Andrés
3586

Renowned chef and humanitarian José Andres joins David to talk about his love of cooking, the political situation in Catalonia, his disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, and much more.

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May 17, 2018
Ep. 242 - Tom Price
3885

Former HHS Secretary Tom Price on his path to politics and healthcare in America.

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May 14, 2018
Ep. 241 - Jeffrey Toobin
3798

Staff writer for the New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin joins David to talk about working as a prosector in the Oliver North trial, covering the O.J. trial as a journalist, the Mueller investigation, and more.

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May 10, 2018
Ep. 240 - Vladimir Kara-Murza
3984

Journalist and Russian Pro-Democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza discusses Putin’s Russia, the Magnitsky Act, hope for a democratic Russia, and more..

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May 07, 2018
Ep. 239 - Kelly Ayotte
3874

Former Senator from New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte discusses her decision not to endorse Donald Trump, her early career as a prosecutor, counseling Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation process, and more.

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May 03, 2018
Ep. 238 - Michael Avenatti
3809

Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney representing Stormy Daniels, joins David to chat about how the loss of his father’s job when he was a teenager fueled his own ambitions, his passion for racecar driving, the slew of hard-hitting legal cases he’s been involved in, and what he thinks the outcome of the Stormy Daniels case will be.

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Apr 30, 2018
Ep. 237 - Tom Perriello
4163

Former Congressman Tom Perriello joins David for a conversation on the direction of the Democratic Party, big ideas for 2021 and beyond, lessons he learned in Sierra Leone, and more.

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Apr 26, 2018
Ep. 236 - Mark Murray
3698

Senior Political Editor at NBC News Mark Murray joins David to discuss the nationalization of politics, Paul Ryan's departure from Congress, what's in store for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, and more.

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Apr 23, 2018
Ep. 235 - Gov. John Hickenlooper
4093

Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado joins David to discuss the hardships of governing under a Republican administration, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, his bipartisan blueprint to fix health care, and much more. 

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Apr 19, 2018
Ep. 234 - Zalmay Khalilzad
3855

Former U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad joins David to discuss his childhood in Afghanistan, what went wrong after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the future of conflict in the Middle East, and more.

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Apr 16, 2018
Ep. 233 - Ed Miliband
4060

Labour MP and former party leader Ed Miliband joins David to discuss the political climate in Britain, his ongoing battle with Rupert Murdoch, lessons from his 2015 defeat, and more.

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Apr 12, 2018
Ep. 232 - Stephanie Schriock
3731

President of Emily's List Stephanie Schriock joins David to discuss how growing up in a mining community influenced her politics, her groundbreaking work on the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, and the wave of women running for office in 2018.

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Apr 09, 2018
Ep. 231 - Major Garrett
3819

Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News, chats with David about the most important story he ever covered, his time at Fox News, the sources of friction in Trump's White House, and more.

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Apr 05, 2018
Ep. 230 - Charles Barkley
3732

NBA Hall of Famer and TV analyst Charles Barkley joins David to talk about his journey from the segregated South to the NBA, why Trump-era politics “disgust” him, and whether NCAA athletes should get paid.

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Apr 01, 2018
Ep. 229 - Andrea Mitchell
3834

Andrea Mitchell, anchor and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, joins David for a conversation about upheaval in Trump's State Department and the new dynamics that will govern Trump's foreign policy moving forward, looking ahead to a potential face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong-Un.

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Mar 29, 2018
Ep. 228 - Michael Phelps
3588

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps joins David to talk about what it took to become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, his battles with depression, and more.

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Mar 26, 2018
Ep. 227 - Chris Cuomo
3644

CNN television host Chris Cuomo joins David for a wide-ranging conversation on his decision to go into journalism, how his family name held him back, his father's legacy, and more.

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Mar 22, 2018
Ep. 226 - Peter Wehner
3021

Pete Wehner, author and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, joins David to discuss Trump's relationship with the Evangelical movement and the weaponization of faith in politics.

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Mar 19, 2018
Ep. 225 - Ana Marie Cox
3807

Ana Marie Cox, host of the podcast "With Friends Like These," joins David at South By Southwest to discuss her career in journalism from Wonkette to MTV and how an attempted suicide seven years ago in Texas changed her life and led her to turn to faith.

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Mar 15, 2018
Ep. 224 - Jon Favreau (Live)
3381

Pod Save America host Jon Favreau joins David for a live show in Austin to discuss his time as a speechwriter for Barack Obama, looking ahead to 2020, the future of progressive politics, and more.

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Mar 12, 2018
Ep. 223 - Jay Roach
3930

Film director and producer Jay Roach joins David to talk about his transition from directing comedies to political films, #TimesUp in Hollywood, converting to Judaism, and more.

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Mar 08, 2018
Ep. 222 - Sen. Jeff Flake
4836

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss what drove him out of the Senate, how his Mormonism informs his views on the Muslim ban, whether he thinks Trump will face a primary challenge, and more.

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Mar 04, 2018
Ep. 221 - Jay Carney
4045

Former White House spokesman Jay Carney joins David to talk about covering an attempted coup in Russia, how the job of press secretary has changed under Trump, his current role at Amazon, and much more.

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Mar 01, 2018
Ep. 220 - Michael Gerson
3993

Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson joins the show to talk about his battle with cancer, a wake-up call for the GOP, his work on PEPFAR, and much more.

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Feb 26, 2018
Ep. 219 - Mayor Marty Walsh
3876

Boston mayor Marty Walsh joins the show to talk about his past struggles with addiction, labor unions in the 21st century, his commitment to DACA recipients, gun control, and more.

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Feb 22, 2018
Ep. 218 - Lawrence O'Donnell
3988

Lawrence O'Donnell, journalist and host of MSNBC's The Last Word, joins David to discuss his rough encounter with the Boston Police Department, the car accident that changed his life, his work on The West Wing, his new book, and much more.

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Feb 19, 2018
Ep. 217 - Jake Tapper
3883

Journalist and CNN anchor Jake Tapper joins the show to talk about cartooning at Dartmouth, his date with Monica Lewinsky that helped launch his journalism career, moderating the second Republican primary debate, his new novel, and more.

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Feb 15, 2018
Ep. 216 - Anthony Scaramucci
4009

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci joins David to talk about is upbringing on Long Island, how the economy has impacted communities like his home town, what went wrong during his tenure in the White House, the Rob Porter scandal, and more.

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Feb 12, 2018
Ep. 215 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
4024

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins David at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics' fifth anniversary celebration for a conversation on growing up as the son of a prime minister, the tragic death of his younger brother, his mother's mental illness, youth engagement in politics, and issues facing both U.S. and Canada.

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Feb 08, 2018
Ep. 214 - Whoopi Goldberg
3908

Award-winning actress, activist, and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about her personal history with President Trump, her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, her film career, and the Hollywood friendships that changed her life.

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Feb 04, 2018
Ep. 213 - Sen. Mark Warner
3995

Virginia Senator Mark Warner reacts to the State of the Union address, discusses the latest developments in the Russia investigation, and shares his thoughts on the economic challenges that will define our future.

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Feb 02, 2018
Ep. 212 - McKay Coppins
3598

McKay Coppins, author and staff writer for The Atlantic, joins David to talk about his bizarre journey with candidate Donald Trump, Mitt Romney's Mormonism, his recent profile of Mike Pence, and more.

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Jan 29, 2018
Ep. 211 - David Gregory
3669

Journalist and CNN political analyst David Gregory joins the show to discuss his interview with Joe Biden, covering the Bush administration, his career after Meet the Press, the OJ trial, and more.

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Jan 25, 2018
Ep. 210 - Ross Douthat
3908

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat joins David to discuss his faith, why Trump loves the New York Times, Trump's brand of racism, and much more.

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Jan 22, 2018
Ep. 209 - Norm Ornstein
3725

Author and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Norm Ornstein joins David to discuss the impact of mental illness in his life, the prospect of political reform post-Trump, the loss of Congressional norms, and more.

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Jan 18, 2018
Ep. 208 - Condoleezza Rice
3938

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins the Axe Files on CNN to discuss her tenure in the Bush administration, foreign policy under the Trump administration, her advice for Oprah, and much more.

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Jan 14, 2018
Ep. 207 - John Bouman
3650

John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, joins David to discuss fighting poverty through the court system, the prospect of welfare reform under President Trump, the Affordable Care Act, and more.

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Jan 11, 2018
Ep. 206 - Rep. Cheri Bustos
3968

Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos joins David to talk about representing a district that voted for Trump, how Democrats can reach out to rural white voters, why pushing for impeachment is a mistake, the state of Democratic leadership, and much more.

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Jan 08, 2018
Ep. 205 - Jake Sullivan
4033

Jake Sullivan, senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2016 election campaign, chats with David about his role in negotiating the Iran nuclear agreement, the Steele dossier, deconstructing the Clinton campaign, and more.

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Jan 04, 2018
Ep. 204 - Adam Nagourney
3521

Los Angeles Bureau Chief for the New York Times Adam Nagourney joins David to talk about his lifelong love of politics, journalism in New York City, Trump's relationship with the New York Times, and more.

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Jan 01, 2018
Ep. 203 - Card. Blase Cupich
4035

Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, joins David to talk about his journey to the highest levels of the Catholic church, visiting Puerto Rico in aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the impact of the recent tax bill, gun violence in Chicago, and more.

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Dec 21, 2017
Ep. 202 - Laura Haim
3859

Laura Haim, journalist and former communications strategist for Emmanuel Macron, joins David to talk about the state of democracy in Europe, covering conflicts around the globe, what she saw in Donald Trump before the Republican primary, and more.

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Dec 18, 2017
Ep. 201 - Rick Santorum
4664

Former Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum joins David to talk about his years in both the House and Senate, his path to his Catholic faith, his views on President Trump, and the consequences of Roy Moore's defeat in Alabama.

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Dec 14, 2017
Ep. 200 - Ed Gillespie
4932

Former Chair of the RNC Ed Gillespie joins the Axe Files to talk about his failed bid for Governor of Virginia, the controversial ads he ran during that race, the candidacy of Roy Moore and the state of the Republican party.

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Dec 11, 2017
Ep. 199 - Eric Garcetti
3820

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti joins David to talk about the potential impact of the tax bill on his city, the way forward for the Democratic party, his own political future, and much more.

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Dec 07, 2017
Ep. 198 - Preet Bharara
3838

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara joins David to discuss the latest in the Russia investigation, Michael Flynn's decision to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, controversial appointments the federal judiciary by the Trump administration, his career as a prosecutor in New York, and more.

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Dec 04, 2017
Ep. 197 - Tom Hanks
4696

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks joins David to talk about how his career began, films as a part of historical record, the sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, his views on the Trump presidency, and more.

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Dec 03, 2017
Ep. 196 - Pete Souza
3848

Former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza chats with David about serving under two presidents, his first encounter with Barack Obama, working as a photojournalist during the war in Afghanistan, and more.

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Nov 30, 2017
Ep. 195 - David Sanger
3746

Chief Washington Correspondent of The New York Times David Sanger joins the show to talk about how we arrived at the crisis point with North Korea, the new frontier of cyber warfare, and the state of journalism, and more.

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Nov 27, 2017
Ep. 194 - Steve Kerr
4030

Head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr rejoins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about his life, his struggles with chronic pain, and his political activism following the election of Donald Trump.

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Nov 26, 2017
Ep. 193 - Kathleen Sebelius
4076

Former HHS Secretary and two term Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius discusses her family's legacy in politics, sexual harassment in America, and the future of Obamacare under the Trump administration.

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Nov 22, 2017
Ep. 192 - Donna Brazile
4058

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile sit down with David to discuss her early work with Rev. Jesse Jackson, moving up through the ranks of the Democratic Party, systemic issues in the DNC, the accusations in her new book, and more.

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Nov 20, 2017
Ep. 191 - Tony Blair
3513

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair joins David in London to talk about the implications of Brexit, the Trump/Brexit connection, his dealings since stepping away from British politics, and more.

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Nov 16, 2017
Ep. 190 - Christiane Amanpour
3546

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins David in London to discuss growing up in Iran during the revolution, her experience covering the first Gulf War, her relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr., the refugee crisis, and much more.

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Nov 13, 2017
Ep. 189 - Fred Hochberg
3490

Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg chats with David about the evolution of gay and transgender rights issues, his replacement at EXIM, trade issues in the United States, and more.

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Nov 09, 2017
Ep. 188 - Susan E. Rice
4644