The Axe Files with David Axelrod

By The Institute of Politics & CNN

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


 Oct 9, 2019


 Mar 13, 2019


 Dec 6, 2018

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. 420 — Sen. Mitt Romney
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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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 19, 2020
Ep. 419 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 12, 2020
Ep. 418 — David Plouffe
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 09, 2020
Ep. 417 — Jon Meacham
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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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 02, 2020
Ep. 416 — Mandy Patinkin
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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 To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 29, 2020
Ep. 415 — Nina Totenberg
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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.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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 coincidence. Today, 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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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?” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 02, 2020
Ep. 377 — Gerald Butts
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 25, 2019
Ep. 342 — Will Hurd
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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)
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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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 01, 2019
Hacks on Tap – Double-Whammy in Miami: Dem Debate Preview
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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)
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 09, 2019
Bonus: Deep Background with Noah Feldman
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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
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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
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 02, 2019
Ep. 322 — Bryan Cranston
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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.    To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 29, 2019
Bonus: Trevor Noah
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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 To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 26, 2019
Ep. 321 - Valerie Jarrett
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 23, 2019
The Axe Files
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For more of The Axe Files, go to LuminaryPodcasts.com.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 22, 2019
Ep. 320 — Rep. Jan Schakowsky
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 18, 2019
Ep. 319 — Beto O'Rourke (TV)
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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 To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 11, 2019
Ep. 306 — Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 07, 2019
Ep. 305 - Josh Shapiro
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 04, 2019
Ep. 304 — John Delaney
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 31, 2019
Ep. 303 - David Leonhardt
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 28, 2019
Ep. 302 - Stanley McChrystal
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 24, 2019
Ep. 301 — John Kerry (TV)
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 20, 2019
Ep. 300 - Sherrilyn Ifill
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 17, 2019
Ep. 299 - Miguel Cervantes
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 14, 2019
Ep. 298 - Ivo Daalder
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 10, 2019
Ep. 297 - Gov. J.B. Pritzker
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 07, 2019
Ep. 296 - Rep. Eric Swalwell
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 20, 2018
Ep. 295 — Howard Wolfson
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 17, 2018
Ep. 294 — Al Hunt
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 13, 2018
Ep. 293 — Rahm Emanuel (TV)
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 09, 2018
Ep. 292 — Bryan Stevenson
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 06, 2018
Ep. 291 — Jeff Zucker
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 03, 2018
Ep. 290 — Amanda Carpenter
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 29, 2018
Ep. 289 — Chris Dodd
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 26, 2018
Ep. 288 — Barack Obama (Live)
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 20, 2018
Ep. 287 - Sonia Sotomayor
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 18, 2018
Ep. 286 — Mark Salter
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 15, 2018
Ep. 285 — Gloria Borger
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 12, 2018
Ep. 284 — Jen Psaki
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 08, 2018
Ep. 283 - Arnold Schwarzenegger
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 04, 2018
Ep. 282 — Steve Brill
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 01, 2018
Ep. 281 — Steve Schmidt
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 29, 2018
Ep. 280 - Jonah Goldberg
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 25, 2018
Ep. 279 — Jeff Weaver
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 22, 2018
Ep. 278 — Mary Katharine Ham
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 18, 2018
Ep. 277 — Khizr Khan
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 15, 2018
Ep. 276 — Ana Navarro
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 11, 2018
Ep. 275 — Steven Pearlstein
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 08, 2018
Ep. 274 - Chuck Todd
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 04, 2018
Ep. 273 — Gov. Steve Bullock
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 01, 2018
Ep. 272 — Roberta Jacobson
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 27, 2018
Ep. 271 — Peter Sagal
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 24, 2018
Ep. 270 — Bob Shrum
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 20, 2018
Ep. 269 — Deval Patrick (TV)
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 16, 2018
Ep. 268 — Susan Glasser
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 13, 2018
Ep. 267 — Jon Lovett
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 10, 2018
Ep. 266 — Austan Goolsbee
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 03, 2018
Ep. 265 — Rep. Mike Quigley
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 27, 2018
Ep. 264 — Dean Baquet & Marty Baron
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 19, 2018
Ep. 263 — Ace Smith
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 13, 2018
Ep. 262 — Judy Woodruff
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 06, 2018
Ep. 261 - Anne Burke
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 02, 2018
Ep. 260 - Tim Shriver
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 30, 2018
Ep. 259 — Mitch Landrieu (TV)
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Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu rejoins the show in this extended version of a conversation from the Axe Files on CNN. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 22, 2018
Ep. 258 — Dan Pfeiffer
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 16, 2018
Ep. 257 — John King Jr.
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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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 09, 2018
Ep. 256 — Nneka Jones Tapia
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 02, 2018
Ep. 255 — Mike Barnicle
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MSNBC contributor and former columnist Mike Barnicle. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 28, 2018
Ep. 254 — Sen. Marco Rubio
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 24, 2018
Ep. 253 — John Farrell
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 21, 2018
Ep. 252 — Rachel Maddow
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 18, 2018
Ep. 251 — Ray Mabus
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 14, 2018
Ep. 250 — Tom Donilon
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 11, 2018
Ep. 249 — Ronan Farrow
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 07, 2018
Ep. 248 — Savannah Guthrie
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 04, 2018
Ep. 247 — James Clapper
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 31, 2018
Ep. 246 — Sally Yates
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 17, 2018
Ep. 242 - Tom Price
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Former HHS Secretary Tom Price on his path to politics and healthcare in America. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 10, 2018
Ep. 240 - Vladimir Kara-Murza
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Journalist and Russian Pro-Democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza discusses Putin’s Russia, the Magnitsky Act, hope for a democratic Russia, and more.. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 07, 2018
Ep. 239 - Kelly Ayotte
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 30, 2018
Ep. 237 - Tom Perriello
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 16, 2018
Ep. 233 - Ed Miliband
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 09, 2018
Ep. 231 - Major Garrett
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 22, 2018
Ep. 226 - Peter Wehner
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 12, 2018
Ep. 223 - Jay Roach
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 04, 2018
Ep. 221 - Jay Carney
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 01, 2018
Ep. 220 - Michael Gerson
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 26, 2018
Ep. 219 - Mayor Marty Walsh
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 22, 2018
Ep. 218 - Lawrence O'Donnell
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 15, 2018
Ep. 216 - Anthony Scaramucci
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 12, 2018
Ep. 215 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 04, 2018
Ep. 213 - Sen. Mark Warner
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 29, 2018
Ep. 211 - David Gregory
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 11, 2018
Ep. 206 - Rep. Cheri Bustos
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 01, 2018
Ep. 203 - Card. Blase Cupich
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 18, 2017
Ep. 201 - Rick Santorum
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 04, 2017
Ep. 197 - Tom Hanks
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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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
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. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 09, 2017
Ep. 188 - Susan E. Rice
4644
Ambassador Susan E. Rice joins David to talk about lessons learned from Rwanda to Syria, the threat from North Korea, the need for American leadership in the world, the Tuskegee Airmen, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 06, 2017
Ep. 187 - Gov. Terry McAuliffe
3721
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joins David to talk about the races in Virginia, his winning formula in a Southern state, what Democrats need to focus on in 2018, the Mueller investigation, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 02, 2017
Ep. 186 - Bakari Sellers
3730
Former South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers joins the show to talk about his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the Orangeburg Massacre, politics in the South, voting rights, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 30, 2017
Ep. 185 - Karen Tumulty
3621
Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty joins David to talk about growing up in military family, Trump's controversial call with a military widow, the many changes in the field of journalism, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 26, 2017
Ep. 184 - David Miliband
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David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, joins the show to talk about the refugee crisis, the forces shaping European politics, his work at the IRC, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 23, 2017
Ep. 183 - Ta-Nehisi Coates
3793
Author and writer for The Atlantic Magazine Ta-Nehisi Coates sits down with David to talk about his upbringing in Baltimore, his early forays into journalism, race and politics in America, his reflections on the Obama presidency, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 19, 2017
Ep. 182 - Sen. Michael Bennet
3795
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet chats with David about securing the future of our democracy, making tough choices as a a school superintendent in Denver, his work on the DREAM Act, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 16, 2017
Ep. 181 - Rep. Nancy Pelosi
4032
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joins the Axe Files once again to talk about her negotiations with President Trump on the Dreamers, the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, her hopes for women in public service, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 14, 2017
Ep. 180 - David Rubenstein
3503
Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein joins David to talk about his modest beginnings in Baltimore, working in the White House for Jimmy Carter, the importance of civic education, and more. CNNPoliticsAPP To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 12, 2017
Ep. 179 - David Litt
3944
Former Obama speechwriter David Litt discusses his early days as a field organizer for Obama in 2008, his botched interview with the CIA, and other lessons learned during his ongoing career in politics as told in his new book, "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years." To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 09, 2017
Ep. 178 - Jason Kander
3825
Jason Kander, Missouri politician and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, joins David to discuss gun control in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas, charting a path forward in the Middle East, fighting voter suppression, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 05, 2017
Ep. 177 - Jeff Roe
3764
Republican campaign strategist Jeff Roe sits down with David to talk about working his way up in politics, the defeat of Luther Strange in Alabama, the urgency in the White House to notch a policy win, and how Trump impacts Republican candidates in 2018. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Oct 02, 2017
Ep. 176 - Jim Baker
4199
James A. Baker III, Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan, joins David to talk about decision-making in the aftermath of an assassination attempt on Reagan, the ongoing anthem protests in the NFL, imposing discipline in a Trump White House, the coarsening of our politics, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 30, 2017
Ep. 175 - Bill Bradley
3953
Former Senator and Hall of Fame basketball player Bill Bradley talks with David about fighting for a player's union in the NBA, the prospect of tax reform, creating compromise in the Senate, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 28, 2017
Ep. 174 - Gayle King
3560
CBS This Morning host Gayle King sits down with David to discuss her formative years in Turkey, the divisions in America today, her friendship with Oprah, raising two kids as a working mom, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 25, 2017
Special Episode - David Axelrod
4763
The tables have turned as David joins hosts Katie Couric and Brian Goldsmith on the Katie Couric podcast to talk about his career in politics and journalism, what the election of Donald Trump means for the country, how he feels about the attempted undoing of Obama's legacy, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 21, 2017
Ep. 173 - Rep. Seth Moulton
3725
Congressman Seth Moulton sits down with David to talk about his military service, President Trump's shortcomings as commander-in-chief, the situation in North Korea, helping more veterans get elected to public office, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 18, 2017
Ep. 172 - Sen. Joe Donnelly
3837
Senator Joe Donnelly joins David to talk about the challenge of making tough votes in Congress, why he thinks the Dream Act will get to the Senate floor, the opioid crisis, the future of the Democratic party, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 14, 2017
Ep. 171 - Gov. Jay Inslee
3545
Washington Governor Jay Inslee sits down with David to talk about the DACA decision, the importance of electing more Democratic governors, the future of the green economy, climate change, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 11, 2017
Ep. 170 - Sen. Patty Murray
3798
Washington Senator Patty Murray joins David to discuss President Trump's brinkmanship in North Korea, the importance of female leadership in Congress, and her path from a mom in tennis shoes to the most powerful woman in the Senate. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 07, 2017
Ep. 169 - Don Rose
3707
Don Rose, legendary Chicago political consultant and former press secretary to Martin Luther King Jr., joins David to talk about his role in the civil rights movement from a very early age, how he helped organize the 1968 Democratic Convention protests in Chicago, what the recent attacks in Charlottesville mean for the future of our country, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Sep 04, 2017
Ep. 168 - Penny Pritzker
3826
Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joins David to talk about her family's humble beginnings, what Trump's proposed immigration policies could mean for the country, the future of our economy, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 28, 2017
Ep. 167 - Rahm Emanuel
4083
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacts to Trump's controversial statements on Charlottesville, discusses the city's lawsuit over the Trump administration's immigration policies, shares his advice for the Democratic Party ahead of the 2018 midterms, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 17, 2017
Ep. 166 - Rep. Luis Gutierrez
3950
Congressman Luis Gutierrez discusses his formative years in Puerto Rico, his political education in Chicago alongside Harold Washington, and his hopes and fears for immigration policy under the Trump administration. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 14, 2017
Ep. 165 - Gary Hart
3941
Former Senator Gary Hart joins David to talk about his rural roots in Kansas, his torpedoed presidential campaign, the implications Russia investigation for the Trump presidency, and how it feels to be portrayed by Hugh Jackman in an upcoming movie. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Aug 07, 2017
Ep. 164 - Rep. Adam Kinzinger
3632
Congressman Adam Kinzinger joins David to discuss his early forays into politics as a college student, Trump's strained relationship with Congress, the evolving threat in North Korea, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 31, 2017
Ep. 163 - Mitch Landrieu
4157
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks about his family's deep political roots in the South, rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, his decision to remove Confederate monuments from his city, and why Democrats can't write off another Trump victory. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 24, 2017
Ep. 162 - Rep. John Lewis
4324
Congressman John Lewis joins David in Atlanta to talk about his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, how far America has come on the issue of race, his views on President Donald Trump, and his emotional reaction to an audio exhibit at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 15, 2017
Ep. 161 - George Stephanopoulos
3967
Chief Anchor for ABC News George Stephanopoulos chats with David about his previous career in politics, the Trump administration's tense relationship with the press, and what the appointment of a Special Counsel portends for the White House. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 10, 2017
Ep. 160 - Sen. Cory Booker
3869
Sen. Cory Booker joins David to talk about his humbling experiences in Newark, racism in America, his mindset ahead of the 2020 presidential election, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jul 03, 2017
Ep. 159 - Dana Bash
3759
CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash sits down with David to discuss the Senate health care bill, her experience covering the 9/11 attacks from Capitol Hill, and the roots of political gridlock in Washington. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 26, 2017
Ep. 158 - Bill Daley
3683
Bill Daley, former White House chief of staff to President Obama and Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton, chats with David about his father's and his brother's tenures as mayors of Chicago, the consequences of NAFTA, the build-up to the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, and how chaos in the Trump administration is a reflection of the President. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 22, 2017
Ep. 157 - Steven Greenhouse
3645
Former labor correspondent for The New York Times Steven Greenhouse joins David to discuss the gig economy, the decline of unions, and his message for journalists in the Trump era. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 19, 2017
Ep. 156 - Bob Dold
3784
Former Rep. Bob Dold talks with David about being a Republican in a blue district, running a business during the recession, and the problems a Trump administration poses for moderate Republicans. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 15, 2017
Ep. 155 - Sen. Elizabeth Warren
3900
Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins David to talk about the myriad challenges facing the middle class in the 21st century, her ongoing battles in the Senate, and her new book "This Fight is Our Fight." To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 12, 2017
Ep. 154 - Geoffrey Stone
4020
Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago law professor and author, speaks with David Axelrod about his impressions of his former law school student, James Comey; the likelihood that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in President Trump's term and the consequences that would have for the country; and what surprised him when he served on a panel appointed by President Obama to make recommendations on oversight matters within the National Security Agency. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 08, 2017
Ep. 153 - Sen. Tom Cotton
3310
Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican from Arkansas, talks with David Axelrod about why he decided to join the Army and what he learned during his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan; his assessment of the evolving relationship between the U.S. and its European allies; and his views, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, on the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 05, 2017
Ep. 152 - Alfredo Corchado
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Alfredo Corchado, author and journalist at the Dallas Morning News, talks with David Axelrod about the two chance encounters that inspired him to pursue a career in journalism, the dangers he and others have experienced while reporting on the Mexican drug cartels, and how corruption and crime in Mexico may propel a populist presidential candidate to victory in next year's election. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jun 01, 2017
Ep. 151 - Brian Deese
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Brian Deese, former senior advisor to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about the instrumental role Deese played in the 2009 auto bailout, the consequences associated with rolling back financial regulatory reforms, and why he believes the Obama administration's climate change policy should be preserved. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 29, 2017
Ep. 150 - Grover Norquist
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Grover Norquist, political advocate and president of Americans for Tax Reform, talks with David Axelrod about how he envisioned his anti-tax pledge as a young boy, his hopes for tax reform under the Trump administration, and what it was like to win the annual "D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity" comedy competition. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 25, 2017
Ep. 149 - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand talks with David about how her faith helps her forge relationships in Congress, how the Democratic Party can rebuild after the 2016 election, and what she thinks about the latest developments in the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 22, 2017
Ep. 148 - Tony Blinken
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Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken discusses spending his formative years overseas, how his experiences during the Kosovo War impacts his understanding of the Syrian conflict, and the diplomatic challenges faced by the Trump administration in the wake of the Russian leaks. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 18, 2017
Ep. 147 - Gov. Jerry Brown
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Jerry Brown, the governor of California, talks with David Axelrod about the lessons he's learned from a remarkable career in American politics, his advice for an embattled President Trump, what the Democratic Party can do to improve its standing in the aftermath of the 2016 election, and why California will continue to be a progressive stronghold in the era of Trump. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 14, 2017
Ep. 146 - Chelsea Handler
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Chelsea Handler, comedian and creator of the Netflix show "Chelsea," sits down with David Axelrod to discuss the work she's doing on behalf of Syrian refugees, why the election of Donald Trump compelled her to become more politically active, and how a speech at a DUI class led her to pursue a career in comedy. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 11, 2017
Ep. 145 - Jennifer Granholm
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Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, talks with David Axelrod about her searing experiences while governing through an economic crisis, why she thinks the Democratic Party needs to develop a comprehensive jobs plan, and how she prepared to play Sarah Palin during a debate session with Joe Biden. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 08, 2017
Ep. 144 - Gov. John Kasich
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John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and former presidential candidate, talks with David Axelrod about his working-class upbringing in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania; his assessment of the opening months of the Trump administration; and what his political future might hold in 2020. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 04, 2017
Ep. 143 - Rep. Ro Khanna
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Rep. Ro Khanna, congressman from California, talks with David Axelrod about the need for the Democratic Party to develop an effective economic message that resonates in every part of the country, why he supported Bernie Sanders in last year's Democratic primary, and why he believes President Trump's actions so far have benefitted Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
May 01, 2017
Ep. 142 - Shailagh Murray
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Shailagh Murray, former senior advisor to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about the decades she spent as a journalist before transitioning into government service, the changing nature of the President's bully pulpit in the 21st century media environment, and why she believes Mitch McConnell's electoral successes haven't produced tangible benefits for the country. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 27, 2017
Ep. 141 - Dan Shapiro
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Dan Shapiro, the former ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for Middle East peace, his assessment of the State Department's performance in the opening months of the Trump administration, and why he believes the Iranian nuclear deal was in the best interest of the United States. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 24, 2017
Ep. 140 - Rep. Adam Schiff
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Adam Schiff, congressman from California and leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, talks with David Axelrod about his committee's investigation into possible connections between the Russians who interfered in the U.S. presidential election and associates of Donald Trump; America's options to de-escalate or resolve tensions with North Korea; and why he believes we should reform some of the U.S. intelligence community's surveillance methods. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 20, 2017
Ep. 139 - Lisa Monaco
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Lisa Monaco, the former homeland security adviser to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about what she thinks are the greatest threats facing America today, why the Trump administration's travel ban hurts our counterterrorism efforts, and why she believes Russia's incursion into our election has opened a new phase in cyberwarfare. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 17, 2017
Ep. 138 - Jason Benetti
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Jason Benetti, play-by-play man for the Chicago White Sox, joins David to discuss how he overcame the effects of cerebral palsy to become a television broadcaster, his hopes and fears for people with disabilities, and the art of the call. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 13, 2017
Ep. 137 - Jim Sciutto
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Jim Sciutto, CNN's chief national security correspondent, talks with David Axelrod about the impact his Jesuit education had on his worldview, the complex nature of the U.S.-China relationship, the key question that world leaders and diplomats are asking about the Trump administration, and the pressures he's feeling as a reporter in the Trump era. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 10, 2017
Ep. 136 - Ben Smith
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Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks with David Axelrod about BuzzFeed's approach to journalism and how he responds to the organization's critics, why Donald Trump has reenergized the news media, why BuzzFeed decided to publish the Trump dossier without verifying its claims, and how the Clinton campaign in 2016 overcompensated for its mistakes in 2008. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 06, 2017
Ep. 135 - Sen. John McCain
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Senator John McCain talks with David Axelrod about the threat Russia poses to Western democracies, why he is more worried now about America than he has ever been before, what he misses most about his early days in the House and Senate, and why Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Apr 02, 2017
Ep. 134 - Joe Maddon
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Joe Maddon, manager of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, joins David before Opening Day to talk about his working class upbringing in Pennsylvania, his path towards an unconventional leadership style, the Cubs' prospects for a repeat, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 30, 2017
Ep. 133 - Julián Castro
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Julián Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, talks with David Axelrod about why Housing and Urban Development programs are important to rural and urban communities and should be preserved; Donald Trump's strained relationship with the Latino community; the lessons Democrats can learn from 2016; and whether he plans to run for office again. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 27, 2017
Ep. 132 - Wendy Sherman
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Wendy Sherman, the former lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal, talks with David Axelrod about how her experience in social work prepared her for a career in politics and international diplomacy; the inner-workings of the Iran nuclear deal; and what the world must do to stabilize the belligerent regime in North Korea. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 23, 2017
Ep. 131 - Jackie Calmes
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Jackie Calmes, the veteran newspaper reporter, talks with David Axelrod about the pressures journalists face covering President Trump, her concerns for the future of the news business, her experiences covering three presidencies and the Gingrich Revolution in Congress, and her favorite article she wrote during her nearly 40-year career in newspapers. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 20, 2017
Ep. 130 - Michael Froman
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Michael Froman, the former U.S. Trade Representative, talks with David Axelrod about why technology and not free trade poses the biggest threat to middle class jobs and wages in America; what the U.S. stands to lose by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement; and why American workers will be harmed by Donald Trump’s global trade policies. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 16, 2017
Ep. 129 - Pete Buttigieg
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Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, talks with David Axelrod about Donald Trump’s appeal in communities like South Bend; how urban economies can thrive amid the challenges posed by globalization; why he ran for chairman of the Democratic National Committee and his advice to the winner, Tom Perez; and why it’s “self-defeating” in the Trump era for Democrats to target other Democrats. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 13, 2017
Ep. 128 - Sen. Kamala Harris
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Kamala Harris, the newly-elected senator from California, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for criminal justice reform legislation in Congress, why she believes President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee must be approved with 60 votes, her argument for why Democrats should stop their infighting and unify against the Trump agenda, and how she’s adjusting to life in the Senate. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 09, 2017
Ep. 127 - Kasim Reed
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Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, talks with David Axelrod about why President Trump often criticizes big cities like Atlanta, why Democrats must work through their internal differences and unite as a party, and why he believes President Trump plans to arrange a $1 trillion infrastructure investment in a way that maximizes his chances for re-election. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 06, 2017
Ep. 126 - Madeleine Albright
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Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, speaks with David Axelrod about her experiences as a young political refugee in the 1940s and how that shapes her view of President Trump’s travel ban; the effect the Trump presidency is having on the global order; why it’s important for the U.S. to stay engaged in the world; and her view on Steve Bannon’s role within the White House. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Mar 02, 2017
Ep. 125 - Jeffrey Goldberg
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Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic magazine, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for Middle East peace during the Trump administration, the demands of leading a news organization in the Trump era, and what Trump’s foreign policy intentions could mean for global stability. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 27, 2017
Ep. 124 - Bill Kristol
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Bill Kristol, the neoconservative commentator and founder of The Weekly Standard, talks with David Axelrod about his experiences as Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, the unnerving first month of the Trump administration, and why he believes nation-building and support of liberal democracies is in America’s best interest. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 23, 2017
Ep. 123 - Corey Lewandowski
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Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager to Donald Trump throughout the Republican primary, talks with David Axelrod about the career he led prior to becoming a figure in national politics, his response to reports alleging that Trump campaign officials were in constant communication during the presidential campaign with suspected Russian officials, and how the Trump White House can reset and move past its turbulent first month. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 20, 2017
Ep. 122 - Mike Leavitt
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Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah, talks with David Axelrod about the Republican path forward on the Affordable Care Act, the health care lessons he learned serving as President Bush’s Health and Human Services Secretary, his views as a former EPA administrator on effective ways in which to address climate change, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 16, 2017
Ep. 121 - Nancy-Ann DeParle
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Nancy-Ann DeParle, one of the lead authors of the Affordable Care Act, talks with David Axelrod about Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, the consequences for people and for the health insurance market if the law is repealed without an adequate legislative replacement, and her argument for why the Affordable Care Act is working. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 13, 2017
Ep. 120 - J.D. Vance
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J.D. Vance, author of the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy, talks with David Axelrod about what it was that attracted working class voters to President Trump, why he’s so concerned by the clustering of homogenous communities in America, and what he thinks could be done to help address the social and economic difficulties in rural and urban areas of the country. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 09, 2017
Ep. 119 - Matt Bai
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Matt Bai, the national political columnist for Yahoo! News, talks with David Axelrod about the intersection between politics, media, and celebrity; the media’s role in Donald Trump’s political rise; and how news organizations can effectively cover President Trump and the new administration. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 06, 2017
Ep. 118 - Carl Bernstein
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Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein talks with David Axelrod about his memories as a young copy boy at The Washington Star, the details of the landmark reporting he did that exposed the Watergate cover-up and led to President Nixon’s resignation, how he grappled with the forces of celebrity after he became a cultural figure, and what he thinks investigative reporters should be looking at with regard to President Trump. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Feb 02, 2017
Ep. 117 - Natalie Jaresko
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Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine's former Finance Minister, chats with David Axelrod about her Ukrainian-American upbringing in Chicago, how Russia’s violation of international norms could portend global upheaval, and the potential costs of a Trump administration's isolationist policy both in the United States and globally. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 30, 2017
Ep. 116 - Cody Keenan
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Cody Keenan, former chief speechwriter to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about his evolution from intern in the speechwriting department of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign to becoming the President’s chief speechwriter; how President Obama collaborates on the speechwriting process; and what it was like to serve in the White House for eight years. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 26, 2017
Ep. 115 - Cecile Richards
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Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks with David Axelrod about growing up in deep-red Texas as the daughter of prominent Democratic activists, the gains made in women’s health over the past eight years, and in what ways that progress may be lost if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 23, 2017
Ep. 114 - Thomas Friedman
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Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for the Middle East peace process in the Trump era, the rapid changes transforming society which he chronicles in his latest book, and why he disagrees with President Obama's decision to not pursue more direct American intervention in the Syrian civil war. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 19, 2017
Ep. 113 - Theo Epstein
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Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, chats with David about growing up in Massachusetts, becoming general manager of the Boston Red Sox at only 28 years old, how his use of advanced analytics helped steer the Red Sox and Cubs to curse-breaking championships, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 16, 2017
Ep. 112 - Chris Wallace
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Chris Wallace, the longtime journalist and host of Fox News Sunday, talks with David Axelrod about why Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign was the best he ever covered; why he thinks the Obama administration could have done better at outreach to Republicans; and how he views some of the potential changes that may be coming for the White House Press Corps. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 12, 2017
Ep. 111 - John Brennan
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John Brennan, the outgoing CIA Director, talks with David Axelrod about the consequences that could arise from devaluing the intelligence community, the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, the many geopolitical challenges in the Middle East, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 09, 2017
Ep. 110 - Sean Spicer
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Sean Spicer, incoming White House Press Secretary and Communications Director for Donald Trump, talks with David Axelrod about what he hopes to achieve in his new job, Trump’s skepticism toward the intelligence community’s assessment of the Russian hacking issue, why Trump will govern with a mandate, and what to expect from the first 100 days of a Trump administration. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 05, 2017
Ep. 109 - Mark Shriver
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Mark Shriver, the author and children’s rights advocate, talks with David Axelrod about the enduring legacies his parents left on the nation and on the wider world, why losing a Congressional race became a great personal development for him, what compelled him to write a book about Pope Francis, and why the policy priorities of the Trump administration could be detrimental to at-risk communities. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Jan 02, 2017
Ep. 108 - President Barack Obama
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President Barack Obama sits down with David Axelrod to discuss their shared history together, how President Obama managed to stay grounded during turbulent moments of his childhood and adolescence, why the Obama presidency struggled to overcome the partisan politics in Washington, and what’s in store for the President when he leaves office on January 20th. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 26, 2016
Ep. 107 - Eli Attie
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Eli Attie, writer for The West Wing and former political speechwriter, talks with David Axelrod about how he went from being a speechwriter to writing television scripts for one of the most notable shows on American politics, his recollection of being in the room on election night when Al Gore rescinded his concession to George W. Bush, and how the fictionalized version of the political speechwriter is often at odds with reality. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 22, 2016
Ep. 106 - Tammy Duckworth
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Tammy Duckworth, the U.S. Senator-elect from Illinois, talks with David Axelrod about her childhood in Southeast Asia, the harrowing day in Iraq when the helicopter she was co-piloting came under attack, her concerns with Donald Trump’s reliance on the military to fill Cabinet posts, and what she hopes to accomplish in the U.S. Senate. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 19, 2016
Ep. 105 - Denis McDonough
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Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff, talks with David Axelrod about how growing up in a house with ten brothers and sisters was good preparation for life, why he thinks it would prove difficult for the next administration to undo aspects of President Obama’s domestic policies, and the greatest disappointments from his White House tenure. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 15, 2016
Ep. 104 - Alex Castellanos
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Alex Castellanos, longtime Republican consultant, talks with David Axelrod about his childhood experiences in Cuba, the importance of storytelling and authenticity in politics, why he thinks Donald Trump could be an effective president, and what he believes will be the biggest challenge Trump faces in Washington. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 12, 2016
Ep. 103 - Sen. Harry Reid
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Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, sits down with David to talk about the changes he’s seen in Washington during his 34 years there, what he views as the greatest professional joy of his life, and how Democrats should approach a Donald Trump presidency. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 08, 2016
Ep. 102 - Davis Guggenheim
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Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim chats with David about the growing negativity of political media, working with Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth, and the shared pathology between D.C. and Hollywood. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 05, 2016
Ep. 101 - Alex Wagner
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Alex Wagner, the journalist and political commentator, talks with David Axelrod about her early exposure to politics as the daughter of a Democratic field organizer, what lessons the news media and voters should draw from Donald Trump’s election, and her concerns about transparency and press access in a Trump administration.. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Dec 01, 2016
Ep. 100 - Doris Kearns Goodwin
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Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, talks with David Axelrod about her love of baseball, the power of storytelling in politics, why being tested by adversity is an important experience for our leaders, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 28, 2016
Ep. 99 - Steve Kerr
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Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, sits down with David to discuss his upbringing in the Middle East, his father’s assassination in Beirut, his reaction to President-elect Trump’s victory, his future in coaching, and much more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 23, 2016
Ep. 98 - Larry Summers
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Larry Summers, U.S. economist and former Treasury Secretary, talks with David Axelrod about growing up in a family of renowned economists, shares his view of what did and did not cause the financial crisis in 2008, and forecasts the economic implications of Donald Trump’s policy proposals. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 21, 2016
Ep. 97 - Douglas Alexander
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Douglas Alexander, former British Labour politician and U.K. Cabinet Minister, chats with David Axelrod about how the closure of a car plant ignited his interest in politics, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 17, 2016
Ep. 96 - Michael Morell
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Michael Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, reflects on George W. Bush and Barack Obama after serving both presidents for years; shares his harrowing experience of being with President Bush on 9/11, and the subsequent decisions that he believes contributed to the invasion of Iraq; and what he sees as the most rapidly growing threat to America’s national security. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy
Nov 14, 2016
Ep. 95 - Van Jones
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