A look beyond the headlines of the stories shaping the conversation in Washington and across the country with interviews that provide background and context to the issues and events dominating the news cycle.
- Episode 41: Matt Schlapp (21 min. 42 sec. - Friday)
This week our guest is American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp. C-PAC is the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country. Later this month his organization will host the annual "C-PAC" conference outside Washington, D.C. Following President Trump's first year in office, we spoke to Mr. Schlapp about the history of C-PAC, the Republican agenda, and the upcoming midterm elections.
- Episode 40: Former Head of the Justice Department's National Security Division (25 min. 57 sec. - February 2, 2018)
This week we speak with David Kris, former head of the Justice Department's National Security Division and an expert on FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). He discusses what FISA is, what is means, and why it is front page news.
- Episode 39: Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Infrastructure (24 min. 44 sec. - February 2, 2018)
This week: This week we take at the state of America's infrastructure with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. He's also the co-founder of Building America's Future, an organization committed to improving the US infrastructure system.
- Episode 38: Cokie Roberts on Congress (25 min. 10 sec. - January 26, 2018)
This week: Our guest this is week is Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News and National Public Radio and the author of six New York Times bestsellers on women in America. American politics is at a crossroads. Cokie Roberts gives her insights into the current relationship between Capitol Hill and the White House and what could come next.
- Episode 37: Michael Beschloss on the LBJ Tapes (30 min. 59 sec. - November 21, 2017)
This week: The LBJ tapes- President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the audio recordings made during his presidency. We spoke with presidential historian and author Michael Beschloss. He's the author of two books examining the recordings, "Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, 1963-1964" and "Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965."
- Episode 36: Bruce Riedel on Saudi Arabia (22 min. 56 sec. - November 17, 2017)
This week we take a look at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with Bruce Riedel. He is a senior fellow and director of the Brookings Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution. He's also the author of "Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States Since FDR."
- Episode 35: William Doyle on the History of Guns in the U.S. (28 min. 9 sec. - November 10, 2017)
This week we look at the history of guns in America with Author William Doyle. He's the written a number of books including, "American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms," which he co-wrote with the late Chris Kyle of "American Sniper" fame.
- Episode 34: Ambassador Gary Locke on China and the U.S. (31 min. 35 sec. - November 3, 2017)
This week we look at the history of on U.S.-China relations from President Nixon's historic visit in 1972 through today. We get the perspective of Ambassador Gary Locke, who served as the United States' envoy to China from 2011 to 2014. President Trump visits the country this week as part of a five-nation Asian tour.
- Episode 33: Michael McCann on Sports and the Federal Government (28 min. 41 sec. - October 27, 2017)
This week we're joined by Michael McCann for a discussion on the history of the federal government's involvement with college and professional sports. He is the director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law as well as a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated.
- Episode 32: Blaine Harden on the Korean War (31 min. sec. - October 20, 2017)
This week author and journalist Blaine Harden joins us to discuss his book 'King of Spies,' and how the Korean Peninsula continues to be impacted by a war fought more than 50 years. It created the De-Militarized Zone along the 38th Parallel and tensions for every U.S. President since Harry Truman.
- Episode 31: Steve Liesman on the Stock Market and Your Money (26 min. 16 sec. - October 13, 2017)
This week we're joined by CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman for a crash-course on economics, focusing on how the federal government and stock market impact the national economy.
- Episode 30: C-SPAN Executive Chairman Brian Lamb on the Creation of C-SPAN Radio (40 min. 4 sec. - October 6, 2017)
C-SPAN Radio was launched on October 9th, 1997. To mark the 20th anniversary, we spoke with C-SPAN Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Brian Lamb about the creation of the radio station, the evolution of C-SPAN, and the importance of our mission.
- Episode 29: David McCabe on Regulating Technology Companies (24 min. 33 sec. - September 29, 2017)
This week we examine the debate over regulating some of the biggest tech companies in the world including Facebook, Google and Amazon. Our guest is David McCabe, who covers the intersection of technology, policy, and politics for Axios.
- Episode 28: Sam Greene on Vladimir Putin (29 min. 50 sec. - September 22, 2017)
This week we look into the background of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Sam Greene, the Director of the Russia Institute at King`s College London. We spoke with him about how Putin's time in the KGB shaped his political philosophy, his rise to power in Moscow, and how Putin views his role in the Russian Government.
- Episode 27: Dr. Jill Hagenkord on Precision Medicine and Genetic Testing (29 min. 33 sec. - September 15, 2017)
This week we discuss precision medicine and genetic testing with Dr. Jill Hagenkord, Chief Medical Officer at Color Genomics, which provides genetic testing for hereditary cancer and high cholesterol risks as well as preventative health services, including genetic counseling. We spoke to her about recent breakthroughs in cancer research and precision medicine, the benefits of testing for cancer-causing gene mutations, and what it means for patients, families, and medical providers.
- Episode 26: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on the War in Afghanistan (29 min. 25 sec. - September 1, 2017)
President Trump recently announced his plans for the War in Afghanistan, including the deployment of additional US troops to the country. This week we look at the political geography and the recent history of Afghanistan with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan (2003-2005) and Iraq (2005-2007). He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2007-2009). Ambassador Khalilzad discussed the roots and resilience of the Taliban, Afghanistan's drug trade, and the importance of re-building Afghan state institutions in order to secure long-term peace in the region.
- Episode 25: Jean H. Lee on the Rise and Rule of North Korea's Kim Dynasty (30 min. 48 sec. - August 25, 2017)
As tensions with North Korea rise, this week we examine the history of that country's ruling Kim family. We spoke to Jean H Lee, author of "Kings of Communism: Inside Kim Jong Un's Bloody Scramble to Kill of His Family" in the September edition of Esquire Magazine. She also led the Associated Press's coverage of the Korean Peninsula as bureau chief from 2008 to 2013 and opened the AP’s Pyongyang bureau in January 2012. We spoke with Ms. Lee about the Kim family's rise to power, the idea of North Korea as an absolute monarchy, and the message Kim Jong Un sent with the assassination of his brother in February.
- Episode 24: Francisco Toro on the Crisis in Venezuela (26 min. 38 sec. - August 18, 2017)
Earlier this month, President Trump addressed the deepening political and economic crises in Venezuela stating that the U.S. may consider "military options" if the situation gets worse. This week we spoke to Francisco Toro, a Venezuelan journalist and the Executive Editor of English-language blog Caracas Chronicles, about the current state of affairs in Venezuela and the rapidly deteriorating quality of life for those who remain in the country.
- Episode 23: Robert Kahn on North Korea Sanctions (25 min. 39 sec. - August 11, 2017)
Earlier this month, the 15-member U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to impose strict new sanctions on North Korea in response to that country's ongoing testing of nuclear weapons. This week, we spoke to Robert Kahn, a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, about how sanctions are enforced and why China will be critical in determining the effectiveness of any new sanctions against Pyongyang.
- Episode 22: Bill Browder on the Magnitsky Act and Putin's Russia (24 min. 36 sec. - July 28, 2017)
Businessman and author Bill Browder was once one of Russia's top foreign investors, but in 2005 he was kicked out of the country and labeled a national security threat by President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Browder discusses Putin's Russia and the Magnitsky Act, which was named for his late lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who was imprisoned for 11 months before dying in prison.
- Episode 21: Joseph Califano Jr. on the 1967 Detroit Riots (28 min. 30 sec. - July 21, 2017)
50 years ago this week, the 1967 Detroit Riots began. They lasted over five days in July, ignited by long-simmering racial tensions. podcast we look back at the riots with Joseph Califano Jr. He who served as a principal domestic aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson and was with him during that tumultuous time.
- Episode 20: Henry Olsen on Reagan-Era Tax Reform (25 min. 22 sec. - July 14, 2017)
This week we look at President Reagan's efforts to reform the tax code in the 1980's with Henry Olse, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the author of "The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism"
- Episode 19: Jeffrey Rosen on the Declaration of Independence and American democracy. (24 min. 5 sec. - June 30, 2017)
Our guest this week is Jeffrey Rosen, President & CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence is part of the framework of America's democracy. He offers his perspective on the document that shapes our country 240 years later.
- Episode 18: David Daley on Gerrymandering (25 min. 42 sec. - June 23, 2017)
Our guest this week is David Daley author of "Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count." We talked with him about Republican efforts to carve out districts that have helped the GOP since 2010.
- Episode 17: John Dean on Watergate (33 min. 23 sec. - June 16, 2017)
June 17th marks the 45th Anniversary of the Watergate break-in. This week we revisit the first months of the scandal with Nixon-era White House General Counsel John Dean.
- Episode 16: Ray Smock on Congressional Investigations (27 min. 54 sec. - June 7, 2017)
This week we examine the history of congressional investigations with Ray Smock, the director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University and a former Historian of the House of Representatives.
- Episode 15: Fabrice Pothier on NATO (26 min. 3 sec. - June 2, 2017)
This week Fabrice Pothier, former Director of Policy Planning for NATO, discusses the organization's history, mission, and budget.
- Episode 14: Max Ehrenfreund on Declining Wages and the Shrinking Middle Class (22 min. 43 sec. - May 26, 2017)
This week's guest is Washington Post reporter Max Ehrenfreund. We spoke with him about a new report examining declining American wages and the shrinking middle class.
- Episode 13: Robert Danin on the Middle East Peace Process (26 min. 3 sec. - May 19, 2017)
This week's guest is Robert Danin, a senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and former Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs during the George W. Bush administration. We spoke with him about the history of the Arab-Israeli peace process.
- Episode 12: Tim Wiener on the FBI and James Comey (23 min. 59 sec. - May 12, 2017)
With President Trump's dismissal of now-former FBI Director James Comey dominating the news we spoke to Pulitzer Prize winner Tim Weiner, author of Enemies: A History of the FBI.
- Episode 11: LuAnn Bennett on Running for Congress (26 min. 51 sec. - May 5, 2017)
With both parties recruiting candidates to run for office during the 2018 midterm elections, our guest this week is LuAnn Bennett, who lost in 2016 to Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in the race to represent Virginia's 10th District. We talked with her about her experience running for office.
- Episode 10: Richard Norton Smith on President Trump's first 100 Days (27 min. 29 sec. - May 3, 2017)
Our guest this week is presidential historian and author Richard Norton Smith. We talked with him about using a president's first 100 days in office as a measurement of success and why FDR set a standard that may not be matched.
- Episode 9: Nile Gardiner on Brexit and the UK Election (27 min. 56 sec. - April 21, 2017)
Our guest this week is Nile Gardiner, a former aid to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Director of the Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. We talked with him about Brexit and the upcoming general election in the U.K.
- Episode 8: Maya MacGuineas on the Debt and the Deficit (28 min. 28 sec. - April 14, 2017)
Our guest this week is the Maya MacGuineas, She is the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. We talked with her about the differences between the $20 trillion debt and the year-to-year deficit and why failing to raise the debt ceiling could be catastrophic for the U.S. and global economies.
- Episode 7: Bill Richardson on North Korea (27 min. 50 sec. - April 7, 2017)
Our guest this week is the former Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. As a diplomat and Special Envoy, Gov. Richardson has received four Nobel Peace Prize nominations, and has successfully won the release of hostages and American servicemen in North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan. We talked with him the current state of tension between North Korea and the U.S. and why he thinks the U.S. needs to change its approach to engaging with what many describe as "the Hermit Kingdom."
- Episode 6: Don Ritchie on the Senate and the Nuclear Option (29 min. 46 sec. - March 31, 2017)
With the Senate set to vote on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, our guest this week is Don Ritchie. He is the Historian Emeritus of the U.S. Senate. We talked with him about the Senate filibuster rules and how the threat of the so-called nuclear option has been used by both parties.
- Episode 5: Steve Bell on the Federal Budgeting Process (27 min. 23 sec. - March 24, 2017)
Our guest this week is Steve Bell, a senior advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He's a veteran of the Senate Budget Committee, working in various roles – including Staff Director – from the early 1980's until 2009. We talked with him about the process of creating the federal budget and why the President's budget proposal is important.
- Episode 4: Jeffrey Rosen on the Supreme Court Confirmation Process (24 min. 9 sec. - March 17, 2017)
Our guest this week is Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. We talked with him about the evolution and significance of the Supreme Court confirmation process.
- Episode 3: Sam Donaldson on the White House Press Corps (30 min. 56 sec. - March 10, 2017)
Our guest this week is former ABC News White House Correspondent and co-host of "This Week," Sam Donaldson. He gave us his assessment of how this White House press corps is covering President Trump and the job of Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
- Episode 2: Jose Antonio Vargas on Immigration Policy (28 min. 55 sec. - March 3, 2017)
Our guest this week is Jose Antonio Vargas, journalist, filmmaker, immigration rights activist, and founder of the non-profit group Define American. We talked with him about how the media covers the immigration issue, the rapidly changing look of immigration in the United States, President Trump's immigration policy, and why he went public with his undocumented status in 2011.
- Episode 1: Jay Cost on the Current State of American Politics (29 min. 59 sec. - February 24, 2017)
Our guest this week is Jay Cost, senior writer for The Weekly Standard. We talked with him about the atmosphere of fear surrounding the current state of American Politics. We also discussed President Trump's fight with the press, what will happen with the Affordable Care Act with the GOP in control of Congress and the White House, and where he stands with the Republican Party, which he left last year.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Dana Milbank on the Trump White House (23 min. 59 sec. - February 17, 2017)
Our guest this week is Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. We talked with him the resignation of Gen. Michael Flynn just 24 days into his tenure as National Security Adviser. We also discussed what he calls the "chaotic" Trump White House, how Congressional Republicans are dealing with a new type of President in the White House, and how the Washington Post is approaching its coverage.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Trent Lott on Making Congress Work Again (24 min. 51 sec. - February 10, 2017)
Our guest this week is former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. We talked with him about how the Senate has changed since he left in 2007, what he thinks needs to be done to get both parties to work together, and lessons from Watergate, the Clinton impeachment trial, and some of the grand political bargains of the 1980's and 1990's.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Stephen Wermiel on Supreme Court Confirmations (28 min. 40 sec. - February 3, 2017)
Our guest this week is Stephen Wermiel, a Professor of Constitutional Law and Associate Director of the Summer Institute of Law and Government at American University's Washington College of Law. He's also a contributor to the SCOTUS Blog and spent a decade covering the Supreme Court for The Wall Street Journal for over a decade. We discussed what to expect during the confirmation process for President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. We also talked about the legacy and lessons of the confirmation processes from Nixon to George W Bush, including Judge Robert Bork, who was rejected by the Senate in 1987. We also talked about what he thinks potentially could happen if there is another vacancy to the high court during the Trump Presidency.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Leon Panetta on Federal Agencies and Presidential Transitions (29 min. 21 sec. - January 27, 2017)
Our guest this week is former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. We discussed his time as CIA Director during the first term of the Obama Administration and the process of transitioning the agency from one presidency to another. We also spoke about his advice for new Secretary of Defense, retired General James Mattis, the changes he's seen during the nearly 40 years he's spent in politics, and the importance of the President getting honest - often unvarnished - advice from his cabinet members and his White House staff.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Michael Beschloss on Presidential Inaugurations (23 min. 32 sec. - January 19, 2017)
Our guest this week is historian and author Michael Beschloss. We discuss the history and tradition of presidential inaugurations, as well as notable inaugural addresses from the past. We also talked about how former presidents approached writing their addresses, and the importance these remarks have on Inauguration Day.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Ron Klain on Cabinet and Supreme Court Confirmations (30 min. 33 sec. - January 13, 2017)
Our guest this week is Ron Klain. He is a longtime democratic party operative. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Revolution LLC. Mr. Klain previously served as Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents, Al Gore and Joe Biden. He also guided a number of nominees during their Senate confirmation hearings, including Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. We talked with Ron Klain about the confirmation process - not only for Supreme Court Justices, but also for cabinet members and the differences between the two. We also discussed the biggest misconception about the confirmation process, and what we can expect at the start of the Trump Administration.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Newt Gingrich on the incoming Trump Administration (28 min. 46 sec. - January 6, 2017)
Our guest this week is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. We talked with him about the upcoming inauguration, and his advice to the incoming White House staff and Congressional leaders. Mr. Gingrich also explains why Donald Trump won the 2016 election and what the American people can expect from the Trump Administration.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Gary Walters on Inauguration Day at the White House (31 min. 21 sec. - December 23, 2016)
Our guest this week is former White House Chief Usher Gary Walters. We talk about how he became the White House Chief Usher, the kind the changes that the First Family can make to the White House, and what happens inside the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when a new President is sworn in.
- C-SPAN Radio Podcast - Josh Earnest on being the White House Press Secretary (31 min. 8 sec. - December 16, 2016)
This week, we take you to the West Wing of the White House for a conversation with Press Secretary Josh Earnest. We talk about how he went from a Rice University graduate, to a campaign aid for a Houston mayoral campaign, to working on the 2008 Obama campaign. We also discuss the changes to the media landscape during his time in the White House, and President Obama's post-presidency plans.