Can He Do That?

By The Washington Post

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“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring the powers and limitations of the American presidency, and what happens when they're tested. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when branches of government collide.

Episode Date
States are competing for life-saving medical equipment. Who decides where it goes?
As the spread of the novel coronavirus grows in the United States, many states finds themselves in need of medical equipment like ventilators and protective equipment for health care workers.

Yet, for most states getting said equipment has not been easy. Requests have begun to outweigh supply and many states complain there’s a lack of guidance about how they can secure life-saving supplies.

Governors are making increasingly frantic requests to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for materials. State and congressional leaders are flooding FEMA with calls seeking clarity about how resources will be allocated. Several calls have been made straight to the president himself, and some governors seem to have better luck in those calls than others. 

While states like Oklahoma and Kentucky have received more of some equipment than they requested, others like Illinois, Massachusetts and Maine have secured only a fraction of their requests.

This disparity has led many state officials to raise the question of whether Republican states are receiving more favorable treatment from the federal government during this crisis.  

And while there’s no direct evidence that’s the case, President Trump has contributed to the sense that politics could be a factor. Specifically, Trump has publicly attacked Democratic governors who criticize his handling of the public health crisis.

So, is there political bias in who gets resources right now? Who, exactly, controls the way resources are allocated in an emergency? And what happens when state health departments and hospitals are left without the supplies they so desperately need? 

On this episode of the“Can He Do That?” podcast,  Dr. Paul Biddinger, the chief of the emergency preparedness division at Massachusetts General Hospital offers insight on what resources hospitals need right now and White House reporter Toluse Olurinippa discusses president’s inconsistent process for deciding how to distribute resources across the country.

Additional coronavirus resources:

Related episodes
Apr 02, 2020
Rugged individualism vs. social distancing enforcement: Who can keep us home and how?
Much of life as we know it in the United States has drastically changed over recent weeks. Local and state authorities have closed many businesses and mandated that residents stay at home or limit the size of gatherings.

Yet how these restrictions are implemented across the country varies widely. Furthermore, even in areas where restrictions can carry legal penalties, enforcement is rare.

The United States is, of course, set up this way: States have the power to work independently, in coordination with the federal government. But it means our country’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic is much more patchyc and localized than in other countries responding around the world.

The variations across state and local guidance have caused quite a bit of confusion about what exactly is allowed during this time — and where. It has also raised questions about the federal government’s role in instituting social-distancing measures nationwide.

How likely are we to see greater enforcement against breaking social-distancing rules? Can the president order the entire country to shelter in place? On the other hand, if President Trump wants the country to resume normal life soon — as he has both suggested publicly and offered guidelines for in a recent letter to governors — can he force local or state governments to make that happen?

On this week’s episode of the“Can He Do That?” podcast, we’ve answered these questions with national correspondent Griff Witte and Lindsay Wiley, director of the health law and policy program at American University’s Washington College of Law.

Additional coronavirus resources:

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Mar 26, 2020
U.S. elections are being tested like never before. What comes next?
The novel coronavirus pandemic has presented some serious challenges to the American electoral process.

To solve these new public health challenges, some states have delayed primary voting. Other states have implemented social-distancing measures at polling locations, with mixed results. Others yet have geared up to increase mail-in ballot capacity.

Each of these circumstances raise different issues for how voters can choose a candidate in this year’s primary election.

Some Democratic primaries, for example, are now scheduled for after the deadline previously set for choosing a Democratic candidate — and only weeks before the Democratic National Convention.

Plus, all of these now-complicated primaries lead up to a nationwide voting day in November. Could these primary delays somehow delay America’s choice for the next president? More specifically, can the president himself delay, cancel or change the circumstances of November’s election?

And as our electoral process is tested by all of these new voting measures, what new issues might emerge when it comes to ensuring everyone’s vote is counted?

On this week’s episode of the“Can He Do That?” podcast, national politics reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker explains what’s been happening at the state primary level, and election law expert Ned Foley of The Ohio State University lays out what can-- and legally can’t-- happen in the general election.

Additional coronavirus resources:

Related episodes
Mar 19, 2020
The U.S. stumbled at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Can we make up for lost time?
The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. The virus has spread in the United States, with new cases reported daily, deaths totaling more than three dozen, and an expanding list of large-scale cancellations, including the NBA, the NCAA tournaments and Broadway shows.

In response, the Trump administration has taken various steps to limit the spread of the virus and to help a suffering economy.

But those steps haven’t always gone so well. The administration was initially slow to take the virus seriously: The U.S. had an inadequate number of tests available; at times, messages out of the White House conflicted with experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and there’s been a lack of centralized guidance around social distancing and other potential public health measures that could help contain the virus.

In light of some of these issues, President Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday night. The president signaled the seriousness of this growing crisis and proposed new ways to curb it — among them a 30-day ban on flights from most of Europe.

And yet despite this speech, many questions still surround the administration’s handling of this public health crisis. Why has testing for the virus gone so poorly in the U.S.? Will the president’s travel restrictions work to slow the spread of the virus? And what other solutions or measures could be taken that we haven’t seen action on yet?

On this episode of the “Can He Do That?” podcast, The Post’s health policy reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb covers some of the problems with the administration’s response so far and some of the measures we may see in the coming weeks.

Related episodes:
Mar 12, 2020
Does the president have much power to control a viral outbreak?
Since it was first detected on the last day of 2019, coronavirus has infected tens of thousands of people around the world and has killed more than 3,000. The outbreak has triggered unprecedented quarantines, stock market upheaval and dangerous conspiracy theories.

Most cases are mild, but health officials say the virus’s continued spread through the United States is inevitable. As the country and our health-care system prepares, a lot is still unknown.

President Trump has repeatedly sought to reassure the nation about coronavirus and organized a communications effort to downplay risk. He has appointed Vice President Pence to run a task force and tried to boost an economy faltering in response to fears.

He has also suggested closing the Southern border, falsely said a vaccine could be available very soon, falsely suggested the virus could be gone by April and disagreed with the World Health Organization’s mortality rate of 3.4 percent globally.

Trump’s overall response to this public health crisis presents a series of questions: Does the president actually have that much power when it comes to controlling a viral outbreak? What exactly has Trump done, what else can he do if he chooses, and which of these things really makes a difference?

On this episode of the “Can He Do That?” podcast, our team navigated The Post newsroom, asking expert reporters for their insights on everything from Trump’s economic response to quarantine protocols to the president’s relationship with pharmaceutical companies.

Related episodes:
Mar 05, 2020
The delegate math questions you were too embarrassed to ask
The Republican Party’s 2020 primary season has been pretty straightforward. President Trump has no serious competition for the Republican nomination. But for the Democrats, it’s far less clear who will become their party’s nominee for president of the United States.

With so many candidates competing to define the future of the Democratic Party and running on a range of ideologies, it’s been a heated presidential primary season.

Candidates have tried to boost their potential and their profile by winning early voting states. But those states offer a very small portion of the total delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Things change a bit on Super Tuesday, which falls on March 3. On Super Tuesday, the most states at a time hold nominating contests, the most voters have a chance to go to the polls, and the most delegates will be allotted to candidates. More than a third of all delegates for the Democratic National Convention are up for grabs on this day alone.

Despite recent dropouts from Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer, the Democratic primary field is still quite large and therefore delegates may be broadly split among candidates. So what happens if no candidate wins the majority of delegates needed to become the nominee at the party convention in July?

On this episode of the “Can He Do That?” podcast, “Primary Politics” author Elaine Kamarck answers questions like: How are delegates allocated? What’s a superdelegate anyway? And why is it all so complicated?

Related episodes:
Mar 02, 2020
Hacks, chaos and doubt: Lessons from the 2016 election revisited
In 2016, as the Democratic Party officially selected its nominee, then-candidate Donald Trump saw an opportunity to deepen the schisms that had emerged among Democrats.

Four years later, President Trump seems to be embracing a similar opportunity.

In tweets, at rallies and in interactions with the press, Trump has suggested that this year’s Democratic primary is rigged against Bernie Sanders.

Trump’s assertions about a flawed Democratic primary are just a piece of the story. He’s stoking divisions based in part on information Russia weaponized to highlight those divisions in the first place. And as we confront another election year, recent reports show Russia hopes to interfere again.

So, how is Trump strategizing for 2020 in light of recent news? And how are things different this time around, when a president with sizable power over intelligence and election security is seeking to win reelection himself?

In this episode of the “Can He Do That?” podcast, Washington Post campaign reporter Sean Sullivan and Laura Rosenberger, who leads the Alliance for Securing Democracy, reexamine what election interference looked like in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, and how the ghosts of that experience are reappearing today.

Related episodes:
Feb 28, 2020
The problems with pardon power
Only a few presidential powers are very clearly outlined in the U.S. Constitution. One of those is the president’s power to pardon.

We’ve seen President Trump exercise his pardon power at several moments during his tenure in office - sometimes to much controversy.

Tuesday, the president continued this trend. He pardoned or commuted the sentences of several convicted white-collar criminals at the center of federal anti-corruption and tax fraud cases.

Trump’s choice to grant clemency to this group, combined with a reported desire from the administration to issue more pardons in the coming months, raises questions about who else Trump might pardon. Among them is his longtime adviser and friend Roger Stone, who was sentenced Thursday to serve three years four months for impeding a congressional investigation of 2016 Russian election interference.

Trump left this door open when he said at an event in Las Vegas Thursday that while he wasn’t going to grant clemency to Stone right now, Stone “has a very good chance of exoneration.”

What do a president’s decisions about who to pardon say about his agenda? How unusual is it really for a president to pardon those close to him? And how much power does the Justice Department have to push back on a president who seeks to pardon for political gain?

On this episode, White House reporter Toluse Olorunnipa helps us boil our questions down to this: If a president has sweeping pardon powers — are there really consequences to using them? And … should there be?

Related episodes

Feb 20, 2020
Trump’s view of a unilaterally powerful president goes unchallenged
Since President Trump was acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial, there has been a lot of action out of the White House.

From firing people in his administration who testified against him in the House Inquiry to compromising the Justice Department’s independence, Trump's actions seem to paint a picture of a president who feels emboldened by the resolution of his months-long impeachment battle. 

So does this post-acquittal moment reflect a president more emboldened than before? White House reporter Ashley Parker offers insight into President Trump’s perception of power and what we can expect to see from him in an election year.

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Feb 13, 2020
A president acquitted. The balance of power tested.
The United States Senate acquitted President Trump on charges — brought by the House of Representatives — of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The vote fell largely along party lines, with one exceptions. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah historically voted with the Democrats to convict the president on the first article: abuse of power. That marked the first time in American history that a member of the president’s own party has voted to remove him. Romney voted with Republicans to acquit Trump on the second article: obstruction of congress.

This moment is only the third time in U.S. history that the Senate has held an impeachment trial. The Senate has never voted to convict and remove a president.

An impeachment trial in the Senate means Congress is deciding where to draw lines around presidential conduct: What’s acceptable, what’s inappropriate and what rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors?”

Over the course of the Senate trial, House managers and Trump’s lawyers engaged in arguments for their respective positions. Trump’s acquittal can be interpreted as a reflection of the Senate agreeing with those arguments.
And if that’s case, which of the Trump team’s arguments have established new precedent? How might this acquittal embolden not only this president, but future presidents? At the end of this partisan impeachment process, has the balance of power shifted in this country and can the pendulum ever swing back toward equilibrium?

Related episodes:
Feb 05, 2020
Will the Iowa caucuses clarify anything? Lessons from history in an unpredictable year
The 2020 Iowa caucuses present unprecedented challenges for some top Democratic contenders. Several candidates polling highest in Iowa have been unable to physically spend much time in the state in the final weeks before the vote. Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet have been back in Washington serving as jurors in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

Having a presence in those final weeks in Iowa can be the key to wooing any remaining undecided voters. And this year, there are quite a few.

What’s more, at least one candidate won’t even appear on the ballot in Iowa. Businessman Michael Bloomberg is opting out of the first four primaries and caucuses, making his entry on Super Tuesday ballots.

So, given these new complicating factors, does Iowa matter in a different way than in past elections? How important is this state to the final outcome of the primary? How might the Senators’ scaled-down presence in Iowa the final weeks before the caucuses, affect the results? And really, how much does winning Iowa matter for who eventually earns the nomination .. and the presidency?

To answer that question, we set out to learn from the past. Iowa elections expert Cary Covington and campaign reporter Holly Bailey lay out the complex landscape as we head toward the first state’s vote.

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Jan 30, 2020
How Bolton’s allegation — no, not the one you’re thinking of — could change the impeachment trial
Details of former national security advisor John Bolton’s unpublished book manuscript became public Sunday.
These details suggested that Bolton could provide firsthand evidence that President Trump directly tried to deny security assistance to Ukraine until they announced investigations into political opponents, including Joe and Hunter Biden. That assertion from Bolton’s book has renewed the call by Democrats for witnesses in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

And yet, that interaction between Trump and Bolton, though potentially the most explosive, wasn’t the only conversation alleged in the leaked details of Bolton’s book. Another, was a key interaction between Bolton and Attorney General William Barr shortly after Trump’s now infamous call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.

On this episode Matt Zapotosky, The Post’s Justice Department reporter, focuses on that Bolton-Barr conversation: What the purported exchange between Bolton and Barr might tells us about the Attorney General’s role in Ukraine-related events, where it leaves a Justice Department designed to maintain independence from the president and uphold the rule of law, and of course what it all means for Trump’s impeachment trial.

Related episodes:
Jan 28, 2020
How Trump’s impeachment lawyers could undermine him in court
Trump is fighting impeachment-related battles in both the Senate and the court system. His lawyers have conflicting strategies in each arena. The Post’s Ann Marimow explains why these cases matter for the future of presidential power.
Jan 23, 2020
Watchdog says the hold on Ukraine aid violated the law. Will it matter in the Senate trial?
Economic policy reporter Jeff Stein answers key questions about what legal weight a decision from the GAO carries and how likely this ruling is to be considered by the Senate, as House Democrats and the Trump team make their cases.
Jan 21, 2020
Block witnesses? Allow evidence? The battles ahead for the Senate impeachment trial
Congress reporter Rachael Bade offers insight into how the Senate trial process may get thrown off course, how new revelations factor into the trial, and whether the final outcome actually as inevitable as it seems.
Jan 16, 2020
Pelosi signals next step. Does anyone get what they wanted?
After a long standoff, Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will finally consider a resolution to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. Reporter Karoun Demirjian answers questions about what’s been gained or lost in the process.
Jan 10, 2020
Trump and Iran: The president's broad authority to strike
Where do a president’s powers begin and end when it comes to issuing a strike to kill? Can presidents decide how much force to use against an adversary? National security correspondent Karen DeYoung breaks down the administration’s decisions in Iran.
Jan 08, 2020
Presidents who faced impeachment: Bill Clinton
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. We finish our series from Presidential with the story of Bill Clinton.
Dec 27, 2019
Presidents who faced impeachment: Richard Nixon
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. Here’s the second of their stories from Presidential, on Richard Nixon.
Dec 25, 2019
Presidents who faced impeachment: Andrew Johnson
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. Here are their stories, beginning with Andrew Johnson.
Dec 23, 2019
A divided Congress and a presidency on the line
President Trump is the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. Chief correspondent Dan Balz analyzes how this impeachment compares to others, what happens if an impeached president runs again and how Trump’s ability to govern could change.
Dec 19, 2019
After heated, long debate, the articles of impeachment move to the full House
The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to move the articles of impeachment to the full House. Politics reporter Colby Itkowitz breaks down what happened in the committee debate and what to expect in the House next week.
Dec 13, 2019
Articles of impeachment against Trump are unveiled
House Democrats announced articles on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against President Trump in its investigation of his conduct regarding Ukraine. Reporter Mike DeBonis explains what the articles mean, why they matter and what happens next.
Dec 10, 2019
Five things we know now that we didn’t know last week
This week, the impeachment inquiry offered plenty of new revelations. Political reporter Amber Phillips unravels Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s news conference, the debate over the Constitution, new call logs from the president’s lawyer, and more.
Dec 06, 2019
The inquiry moves to Judiciary. Can the president’s legal team sit this one out?
Trump and his lawyers won’t be part of Wednesday’s hearing. Have we ever before seen a president’s legal team absent from impeachment proceedings? Reporter Paul Kane explains how past presidents used their lawyers and how Trump’s approach is different.
Dec 03, 2019
White House investigation reveals effort to justify Trump’s Ukraine aid decision
The White House’s review of President Trump’s decision to hold up Ukraine military aid found documents showing an extensive effort to justify the move. Reporter Carol Leonnig explains what we know so far about the White House Counsel’s findings.
Nov 26, 2019
After a week of hearings, what more do we know?
Key witnesses testified publicly in the House impeachment inquiry this week. Reporter Devlin Barrett unpacks complicated details, notable takeaways from the hearings and where things stand in Congress and the White House at the week’s end.
Nov 21, 2019
Eight people. Five hearings. Three days.
Here’s what to watch for in a week jam-packed with public hearings. Senior political reporter Aaron Blake explains why each of this week’s witnesses is being called to publicly testify and what news might emerge from the busy scene on the Hill.
Nov 18, 2019
An ousted ambassador tells her story to Congress
Marie Yovanovitch faced lawmakers for hours of testimony Friday. National security reporter Matt Zapotosky breaks down the key moments from the inquiry’s second public hearing. Plus, other impeachment news developments you may have missed this week.
Nov 15, 2019
A new inquiry phase and a new revelation: Your guide to the first public impeachment hearing
Complete with contentious moments between lawmakers and insight into facts from key witnesses, the first day of impeachment hearings was eventful. Reporter Elise Viebeck breaks down new information and major moments from the day.
Nov 14, 2019
What to expect when public hearings begin
Next week’s public hearings mark the beginning of the next phase in the impeachment inquiry, but what exactly does this next phase look like? How long will it last? And when might the inquiry wrap up? Congress reporter Mike DeBonis has answers.
Nov 08, 2019
When secret testimonies go public
Reporter Amber Phillips breaks down the key takeaways of secret testimony transcripts from the House impeachment inquiry released to the public this week. What new insights have we gained and what might we learn as more transcripts emerge?
Nov 06, 2019
Congress wants to hear from John Bolton. What might he tell them?
Former national security adviser John Bolton could offer firsthand insight into some Ukraine-related events. But Bolton’s relationship with President Trump is complicated. Reporter John Hudson explains what we might learn if Bolton testifies.
Nov 01, 2019
House Democrats unveil rules for impeachment process. What changes now?
Pending a House vote on the Democrats’ resolution, the stage will be set for the next phase of the impeachment probe. Congress reporter Mike DeBonis explains what the new procedures and rules mean for the events on Capitol Hill in the weeks ahead.
Oct 30, 2019
Republicans’ defense of Trump grows frantic. Will it work?
Reporter Toluse Olorunnipa explains what GOP lawmakers were trying to achieve Wednesday when they protested in the basement of the Capitol. What role do House Republicans play in defending the president and how much is White House guidance informing them?
Oct 24, 2019
If a president is impeached, can they run for reelection?
What actually happens to a president who’s impeached? What penalties against removed presidents are written into law? Law professor Jessica Levinson offers insight into how the law comes down on reelecting a president faced with an impeachment inquiry.
Oct 23, 2019
McConnell prepped Republicans for a Senate trial. Here’s what that trial might look like.
Senate impeachment trials are rare in American history, but there are some rules and precedent for how it all works. Reporter Paul Kane answers questions like: Can the rules change by Senate vote? Who collects evidence? And does public opinion matter?
Oct 18, 2019
Closed hearings, document deadlines and unanswered questions
Reporter Mike DeBonis explains the information gathering efforts on the Hill this week. Plus, we dig into whether closed door hearings are unusual for a Congressional investigation, and what the inquiry’s pace suggests about the Democrats’ strategy.
Oct 15, 2019
How Trump’s Syria decision is testing GOP support
First, Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe explains the complexities of the Turkey-Syria conflict. Then, political reporter Robert Costa explains how Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border area might be putting his political coalition at risk.
Oct 11, 2019
Congress requested depositions. The Trump administration blocked them. Who wins?
Reporter Shane Harris breaks down how the State Department blocked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from testifying to Congress Tuesday. If few testimonies actually happen, what does that mean for the impeachment inquiry going forward?
Oct 08, 2019
Does Trump’s urging China to investigate the Bidens complicate the impeachment inquiry?
Reporter Aaron Blake explains what makes Trump’s request of China different from that of Ukraine, how federal election law might apply, and where the founders of our country stood on foreign interference in our government.
Oct 03, 2019
Are whistleblowers protected from the president?
President Trump’s targeted effort to discredit, and reveal the name of, a government employee raises questions about legal protections for whistleblowers -- and the repercussions for whoever might disclose his or her identity to the public.
Oct 01, 2019
A whistleblower. A phone call. A tipping point.
Reporter Matt Zapotosky on how this fast-paced news week unfolded, what we learned from documents, transcripts and testimonies, and what happens next now that House Speaker Pelosi has opened a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.
Sep 27, 2019
California wants its own strict air pollution standards. Trump has other ideas.
The latest move from the Trump administration threatens to set in motion a massive legal battle and plunge automakers into uncertainty. The Post’s Juliet Eilperin explains how much power a president has over national environmental policy.
Sep 20, 2019
What happens when a president overrides science?
Weather editor Andrew Freedman explains how Trump’s inaccurate hurricane tweet led to worrying implications for NOAA and the NWS, and what happens when a president politicizes scientific institutions.
Sep 13, 2019
Summer is an opportunity for presidents. Did Trump take it?
Some of President Trump’s allies described a lost summer, full of controversies and missed opportunities. White House reporter Ashley Parker explains how presidents have strategized in summer, and how Trump’s approach is different.
Sep 06, 2019
Trump’s latest trade war escalation: Ordering businesses out of China. Can he do that?
The commercial war between two economic superpowers has entered a new phase. The Post’s Jeanne Whalen explains whether President Trump’s edict to U.S. business is enforceable and what the latest trade war developments mean for the global economy.
Aug 30, 2019
Does the president have the power to buy Greenland?
President Trump abruptly canceled a trip to Denmark because the country’s prime minister wouldn’t discuss the purchase of Greenland. Economic policy reporter Damien Paletta explains whether Trump’s effort to purchase Greenland is as unusual as it seems.
Aug 23, 2019
How much can a president affect gun policy?
After two mass shootings, President Trump is considering background checks and red-flag laws. But he has suggested action on gun control in the past, only to later backtrack. Will this time be different?
Aug 09, 2019
How far can a president go to get the intelligence chief he wants?
Some officials have questioned whether President Trump’s pick for the Director of National Intelligence might use the position to serve Trump’s political interests. Reporter Shane Harris explains the role of the law in the job’s qualifications.
Aug 02, 2019
‘Problematic is an understatement’: Robert Mueller testifies before Congress
Wednesday’s hearings marked the first time former special counsel Robert Mueller answered questions about his investigation. The Post’s Justice Department reporter Matt Zapotosky explains the significance of Mueller’s answers.
Jul 25, 2019
How Trump’s racist comments can be used against him in court
President Trump’s language may be part of his political strategy, but this moment raises questions about what consequences the president can face for using inflammatory language. Fred Barbash explains how Trump’s words can legally work against him.
Jul 19, 2019
Trump avoids releasing his business information to the courts — for now
A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit claiming President Trump is illegally profiting from foreign and state government visits to his D.C. hotel. Post legal affairs reporter Ann Marimow untangles the details and implications for our country.
Jul 12, 2019
'The Framers would not recognize the modern presidency.'
For this special Fourth of July episode, we’re going back to the beginning. Jeff Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center, explains how the Founding Fathers intended the presidency and how it has evolved.
Jul 04, 2019
Trump vs. Iran: A president's choices as commander in chief
The president has significant power when it comes to war. Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe explains what led to this escalation with Iran, Trump’s strategy going forward and how recent events affect international perceptions of U.S. might.
Jun 28, 2019
Introducing: ‘Moonrise’
The 'Can He Do That?' team presents a new Post podcast, 'Moonrise' and showcases a segment from the Post's daily podcast 'Post Reports' about developments in Iran and what it has to say about President Trump's approach to foreign policy.
Jun 21, 2019
How the sprawling Democratic field will winnow down to Trump's single opponent
What are the pros and cons for Trump in facing a huge number of candidates? National political reporter Michael Scherer explains how the upcoming Democratic primary debates may help narrow the field and what we can expect as campaign season continues.
Jun 14, 2019
Here's what happens if Trump imposes tariffs on Mexican imports
Does the law allow Trump to tax Mexican imports? Can the Senate stop him from following through on his threat? Economic policy reporter Damian Paletta explains the potential consequences of Mexican tariffs for American consumers and the economy at large.
Jun 07, 2019
Investigating an investigation: Barr’s newfound power to declassify materials
President Trump gave Attorney General Barr full declassification authority for his audit of the Russia investigation. Reporter Devlin Barrett explains the president's unusual move and how Barr's power is perceived in the intelligence community.
May 31, 2019
Will they or won't they? Where House Democrats stand on impeachment
President Trump cut short a bipartisan infrastructure meeting, telling Democrats he won't work with them until they stop investigating him. Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis explains how Democrats might move forward with legislation and investigations.
May 24, 2019
Why didn't the White House back an international effort to fight online extremism?
At the intersection of regulation and free speech, the "Christchurch Call" presents a challenge for a president who alleges political bias from social media sites. Tech policy reporter Tony Romm explains the potential consequences of Trump's decision.
May 17, 2019
What happens when a president asserts executive privilege?
The conflict between Congress and the White House accelerated as President Trump blocked access to the unredacted Mueller report. Reporter Carol Leonnig explains executive privilege and what Trump's assertion means for Congressional investigations.
May 10, 2019
How does Attorney General Barr view presidential power?
Reporter Devlin Barrett weighs in on Attorney General William Barr's contentious week on the Hill -- a week that raised questions about Barr's views on presidential power and his role as the top national law enforcement officer in the country.
May 03, 2019
Will Trump stop Congress from obtaining documents and testimonies?
Our country is facing a largely unprecedented battle between the White House and Congress. Post investigative reporter Tom Hamburger explains this week's subpoena fights and how the tension between Trump and House Democrats might escalate.
Apr 26, 2019
The Mueller report, unpacked
After nearly two years, America finally gets its first look at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report. The Post's Justice Department reporter Matt Zapotosky explains new insights we've gained from an early look at the details.
Apr 18, 2019
Trump dismantled leadership at DHS. Can he fill key vacancies however he wants to?
Reporter Nick Miroff explains what shakeups at the Department of Homeland Security mean for U.S. immigration enforcement. Plus, a look at the president's power to fill important vacancies, from Stanford law professor Anne Joseph O'Connell.
Apr 12, 2019
Trump's decision to definitely, maybe close the border now -- or a year from now
Will Trump ultimately decide to shut down the border? And why keep the country -- including his own administration -- in suspense awaiting a border closing decision? Damian Paletta, the Post's economic policy reporter, explains.
Apr 05, 2019
Trump's latest fight against Obamacare: Destroy it in the courts
The Post's David Weigel explains the potential political consequences of Monday's Justice Department filling arguing that the Affordable Care Act should be thrown out.
Mar 29, 2019
Mueller report: What we still don't know
National security reporter Devlin Barrett explains what we know so far about the findings of the special counsel's Russia investigation, what clarity we’ve gained from Attorney General William P. Barr's summary, and what questions remain unanswered.
Mar 25, 2019
Does a president ever stop campaigning?
President Trump’s campaign for 2020 began shortly after he won the 2016 election. Post reporter Jenna Johnson and U.S. Naval Academy professor Brendan J. Doherty explain how presidents grapple with the inherent tension between campaigning and governing.
Mar 22, 2019
Does the president get to decide which planes can fly?
Reporter Toluse Olorunnipa explains how global pressure, calls with industry executives and self-proclaimed expertise contributed to Trump's decision to announce an emergency grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 airplanes.
Mar 15, 2019
Congressional Democrats ramp up investigations into Trump
With congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian, we look at how Capitol Hill's investigations work, how the Democrats are trying to hone their oversight strategy and which lines of inquiry might have significant consequences for the president.
Mar 08, 2019
What we learned from Michael Cohen's scathing testimony
Marc Fisher wraps up this week's hearings, plus a look at what it was like for reporters experiencing the public hearing in realtime.
Mar 01, 2019
Will Trump’s emergency survive legal and congressional challenges?
How will legal battles over President Trump's emergency play out in the courts? How will Democrats push back in Congress? Is there anything stopping Trump from starting to build the wall today? The Post's legal affairs correspondent Fred Barbash explains.
Feb 22, 2019
Trump to declare a national emergency and Barr is confirmed
Can Trump get funding for a border wall by declaring a national emergency? And can the new U.S. attorney general decide what happens to the Mueller report? Here's a refresher episode answering key questions surrounding Thursday's news moments.
Feb 14, 2019
Better, faster, stronger? Fact-checking Trump's State of the Union address
Which of President Trump's Tuesday night claims were accurate? Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly of The Washington Post's Fact Checker team unpack the truth behind some of the biggest claims around immigration, the economy and foreign policy.
Feb 06, 2019
How much power does an attorney general have to protect a president?
William Barr's delayed confirmation vote for attorney general means there's less clarity on who'll see Robert Mueller's report. Post reporters Dan Balz and Devlin Barrett look at history, precedent and law regarding special investigations.
Feb 01, 2019
The Supreme Court allowed Trump’s transgender troops ban to proceed. What happens next?
In a vote Tuesday, the court allowed Trump's restrictions on transgender troops to go into effect. The Post's courts reporter Fred Barbash explains how a president’s policy rises to the Supreme Court, and how it reflects a president's power.
Jan 25, 2019
The longer the shutdown lasts, the weirder the consequences get
Can Nancy Pelosi postpone the State of the Union address? Can Trump cancel Pelosi's travel? Can Trump and Pelosi find a way to reopen the government? The Post's Colby Itkowitz and Joshua Dawsey unravel details of our country's ongoing political standoff.
Jan 18, 2019
Does Trump have the power to declare a national emergency to get border wall funding?
Can a president choose to invoke emergency powers whenever he wants? Liza Goitein of the Brennan Center for Justice explains the extent of Trump's power in states of emergency. The Post's Philip Rucker breaks down the challenges of border wall politics.
Jan 11, 2019
Will Trump face a challenger for the GOP's 2020 nomination?
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) wrote an op-ed asserting his independence from Trump -- a move that prompted speculation about a potential 2020 bid. The Post's Robert Costa explains what it would take for Romney, or another GOP contender, to challenge Trump.
Jan 04, 2019
Trump’s year of legal battles, Part 2: The Mueller probe
In the final days of 2018, Post reporter Rosalind Helderman recaps the year’s biggest moments in Robert Mueller’s investigation and weighs in on what to watch for as the probe continues.
Dec 28, 2018
Trump’s year of legal battles, Part 1: Suits and settlements
As this year comes to a close, Post reporter David Fahrenthold helps us unravel the details of the swirling lawsuits and investigations surrounding Trump's charity and business.
Dec 21, 2018
What does Cohen’s sentencing mean for Trump? Presented by ‘Post Reports’
While host Allison Michaels is away this week, we’re bringing you a segment from the Post’s premier daily podcast ‘Post Reports’ on Michael Cohen’s sentencing and what it may mean for Trump.
Dec 14, 2018
Will Trump, "a tariff man," win the trade war with China?
Amid escalating tensions and stalled talks between the U.S. and China, financial reporter David J. Lynch and Beijing Bureau Chief Anna Fifield explain what's at stake for Trump, the two countries and the global economy.
Dec 07, 2018
What power does Trump have to push back on GM for closing U.S. plants?
The revival of American manufacturing is a key part of Trump's economic message. Now that GM faces cuts, he's threatened to impose import penalties, and revoke subsidies. What's within his power? Economic policy reporter Damian Paletta explains.
Nov 30, 2018
How much power does a president have over election recounts?
Amid recounts in Florida, the president has used strong rhetoric to cast doubt on our elections. Can he do that? Amy Gardner, reporting from Broward County, Fla., explains what's at stake for Republicans, Democrats and the president himself.
Nov 16, 2018
How will Democrats use their new power as a check on the president?
Will a Democratic House stop President Trump's agenda? Mike DeBonis explains how House Democrats might stall Trump's policies in Congress, and Karoun Demirjian breaks down how far the Democrats might go in investigating the president.
Nov 09, 2018
Trump forced out his attorney general. Can he do that?
Jeff Sessions and President Trump have had a tense relationship since Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation last year. So why did Trump request his resignation now? And what are the implications for control of Mueller’s ongoing probe?
Nov 07, 2018
How do the midterm election results reflect on the president?
After time on the trail tracking candidates and talking to voters, David Weigel offers insight on last night's results. Which party can claim the biggest wins? Was last night a referendum on President Trump? And will we see a new era of bipartisanship?
Nov 07, 2018
President Trump has played an outsize role in midterm campaigns. Can he do that?
Are midterm elections always a referendum on the sitting president? Reporters Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer explain whom Trump has endorsed, which candidates have embraced Trump's policies and how his presence might play out at the polls.
Nov 02, 2018
Trump says he'll stop a migrant group from crossing the U.S. southern border. Can he do that?
White House reporter David Nakamura explains which pieces of border operations and immigration law Trump can change or influence. Plus, Kevin Sieff recounts migrant experiences from his time traveling with the caravan in Mexico.
Oct 26, 2018
Trump faces a challenging moment in Saudi-U.S. relations. What's at stake?
Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggis disappeared from a Saudi consulate in Turkey. His editor, Karen Attiah, sheds light on Khashoggi as a person and a writer. Reporter Shane Harris breaks down this pivotal foreign policy moment.
Oct 19, 2018
Trump made some strange financial moves in the decade before he became president. Can he do that?
Trump's financial past includes $400 million in cash spending, $300 million in private loans and a $50 million loan to himself. David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell unravel their investigation into the mysteries of Trump's finances from 2005-2015.
Oct 12, 2018
How can the Supreme Court maintain impartiality in America's modern political climate?
What happens to the public's perceived independence of the Supreme Court when confirmation processes devolve into partisan battles? The Post's Robert Barnes explains the evolving relationship between politics and the judiciary.
Oct 05, 2018
Kavanaugh and Ford will testify at the Senate. Here's what to expect.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify in relation to sexual misconduct allegations that have arisen during Kavanaugh's confirmation process. With much at stake, Trump is standing by his nominee for now.
Sep 26, 2018
Trump ordered Russia investigation documents declassified. Can he do that?
At odds with the Justice Department, Trump wants some texts, interviews and warrants made public. We explore his exercise of presidential power when it pushes against well-established norms and creates conflicts of interest.
Sep 21, 2018
President Trump says we are “absolutely, totally prepared” for Hurricane Florence. Are we?
Trump called the handling of Hurricane Maria an "unsung success" and falsely said its high death count was generated to make him look bad. As we face Florence, reporter Joel Achenbach adds insight to Trump's claims and the state of our preparedness.
Sep 14, 2018
A harrowing book, an anonymous op-ed and a White House in chaos
After a week of revelations about what it's like to work for President Trump, White House bureau chief Philip Rucker offers insight into the state of the administration.
Sep 07, 2018
Exclusive: Phone call between President Trump and Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward sought an interview with President Trump as he was writing "Fear," a book about his presidency. Trump called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. This is audio of that call.
Sep 04, 2018
Trump threatened to "take a look" at Google for "rigged" results. Can he do that?
Does the administration have power to regulate the information technology companies distribute? Post technology reporter Brian Fung, technology ethicist David Ryan Polgar and law professor Genevieve Lakier explain how far Trump can take his concerns.
Aug 31, 2018
Michael Cohen spent years alongside Trump. What might he know?
Trump’s longtime lawyer and friend, who made a plea implicating Trump this week, has connections to the president’s charity and business. Post reporter Rosalind Helderman explains what we've learned from documents made public by Cohen’s plea.
Aug 24, 2018
Michael Cohen implicates Trump. Paul Manafort is found guilty. What happens now?
Within a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon, two people close to Trump are declared guilty. This special break-in episode with Post reporter Devlin Barrett breaks down what these major developments mean for the President of the United States.
Aug 22, 2018
Trump is trying to enforce an NDA against Omarosa Manigault Newman. Can he do that?
A former White House aide is releasing details from her time in the administration. Trump wants to stop her. White House reporter Joshua Dawsey and watchdog director Danielle Brian explain what happens when a president seeks NDAs for government employees.
Aug 17, 2018
Trump wants to distance himself from Paul Manafort’s trial. Can he do that?
The ongoing trial of Trump’s former campaign manager can affect the future of the Mueller investigation. National security reporter Devlin Barrett and former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz explain what the jury’s verdict might mean for the president.
Aug 10, 2018
Trump says that even if there were collusion, there was no crime. Can he do that?
What are the legal lines surrounding collusion? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Carol Leonnig and white-collar defense lawyer Jacob Frenkel analyze the legal and political consequences of President Trump’s latest suggestion that “collusion is not crime.”
Aug 04, 2018
What Trump's rhetoric at his rallies can tell us about his approach towards policy and diplomacy
In June, national political correspondent Jenna Johnson and producer Anne Li went to a Trump rally in Duluth, Minn. Johnson has been to dozens of Trump rallies, but this time, she and Li focused on something different - the crowd.
Jul 13, 2018
How to Flip the House: The takeaways for 2018
Given what we've learned from the 1994, 2006 and 2010 midterms about how partisanship, divisiveness and polarizing presidents all affect affect both midterm elections and the powers of the presidency, we ask if Democrats can flip the House in 2018.
Jun 29, 2018
How to Flip the House: The secret heist of 2010
2010 was the year of the Tea Party, the year of backlash against Obama, and the year of the biggest shift of power in the House in a century. But it’s also the year that Republicans executed a little-noticed strategy that cemented their place in power.
Jun 28, 2018
How to Flip the House: The 2006 blue wave
To understand the identity crisis within the Democratic Party, you could look to the 2006 midterm election … and the story of a junior congressman named Rahm Emanuel, who needed to win 15 seats in the House to restore his party to greatness.
Jun 27, 2018
How to Flip the House: The 1994 Republican revolution
Since childhood, Bill Paxon was a diehard Republican – a Nixon fanboy who watched House Republicans lose midterm elections for decades. Then he became a member of Congress. And he was finally in a position to help them get the 42 seats they needed to win.
Jun 26, 2018
How to Flip the House: A prologue on why midterm elections matter
In the last 60 years, the House of Representatives has changed political control just three times: in 1994, 2006, and 2010. What do those midterms tell us about what it takes to flip the House? And about why midterm elections matter?
Jun 25, 2018
A week of mixed messaging on border separations
Post reporter Mary Jordan helps us look back at a week of conflicting statements and rapid reversals amid an outcry over immigration policy and border separations.
Jun 22, 2018
The DOJ report on Comey: What you should know
Post reporter Devlin Barrett joins us for a special episode to talk about the Justice Department inspector general's report on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
Jun 15, 2018
'A meet-and-greet-plus': What to expect from Trump's sit-down with Kim Jong Un
Trump is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday. How will the president navigate the high-stakes negotiations?
Jun 09, 2018
The Tale of the 'Trump Triers'
Will tried-and-true Democrats in the Midwest who voted for Trump in 2016 continue supporting the president? And what do their evolving views say about the rest of the country?
May 26, 2018
What to expect in Year Two of the Mueller investigation
One year into the Mueller investigation, we ask: What happens next? And what if President Trump is right, and this all turns out to be nothing?
May 19, 2018
The president is backing out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Will ‘the Trump Doctrine’ work?
President Trump’s decision could unilaterally kill the landmark agreement — and his unconventional foreign policy approach could have widespread repercussions.
May 11, 2018
Midterms and Trump: What to look for as we enter primary season
What does the state of the midterm season say about President Trump, and his effect on the political landscape of the country?
May 05, 2018
Will Trump get Americans off of welfare?
Recent Trump executive actions are part of an effort to curb the number of people who rely on the government-funded "social safety net." How will these new restrictions affect low-income Americans?
Apr 28, 2018
Will courts let the Trump administration put a citizenship question on the Census?
The Trump Administration wants to ask people about their citizenship status on the 2020 Census. Why are Democrats fighting this?
Apr 21, 2018
Special episode: Trump’s lawyer got raided by the FBI. Now what will Trump do?
This week, we talk with reporter Matt Zapotosky about the FBI raid on attorney Michael Cohen — and potential implications for President Trump and the future of Robert Mueller's investigation.
Apr 12, 2018
Will Trump change how America pays for its infrastructure?
So far, there's no $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. But Trump is still having a significant effect on how America funds and prioritizes its most significant transportation projects.
Apr 07, 2018
Will Trump change America's relationship with internet privacy?
Confused about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and how it relates to President Trump? You're not alone. Reporter Tony Romm and internet privacy expert Daniel Kreiss take us on a deep dive.
Mar 31, 2018
When will Trump stop firing people and settle on his ‘A-team’?
The firings, resignations, and ousters in the White House have reached a crescendo. What does that say about Trump – as a manager, as a policy-maker, and as a public persona?
Mar 24, 2018
Will Trump convince Kim Jong-Un to give up nuclear weapons?
President Trump says he will sit down with North Korea and negotiate a deal on nuclear disarmament. On this week’s episode of “Can He Do That,” we talk to someone who’s tried that before.
Mar 17, 2018
Does the President have the power to downsize the government?
Since President Trump entered office, he's promised a radical restructuring of the federal government — including significant cuts to the size of the federal workforce. But that hasn't happened yet. On this episode, we ask: What's the hold-up?
Mar 10, 2018
Should the president run the White House like a family business?
On this week's episode, we talk about presidential family members, and about Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and embattled senior adviser. What happens when a president's own children wield influence in the White House?
Mar 02, 2018
Will teen victims of school shootings force a change in federal gun laws?
In this week's episode, Post reporters John Woodrow Cox and Wesley Lowery talk about their experiences covering school shootings — and why the outraged message from South Florida teens might get some traction with lawmakers, and with Trump.
Feb 21, 2018
Will Trump strike a deal on the Dream Act?
Congress has been kicking around versions of the Dream Act for almost two decades — and yet, the latest debates in the Senate suggests that lawmakers are still can't come up with a long-term solution for Dreamers. Can Trump strike a deal on the Dream Act?
Feb 16, 2018
Special episode: The Nunes memo and what it means
The House Intelligence Committee publicly released a memo Friday, and it has Washington D.C. in a whirlwind. National security reporter Matt Zapotosky explains what's in the memo, why it's been so controversial and what happens next.
Feb 02, 2018
Special episode: Trump's first State of the Union address
Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher and political reporter Eugene Scott discuss the major themes of President Trump's first State of the Union address -- what he said, what it means, and what comes next.
Jan 31, 2018
Special episode: A State of the Union listening guide
National political correspondent Karen Tumulty and senior editor Marc Fisher discuss what they’ll be listening for in Trump’s first State of the Union address.
Jan 26, 2018
Special episode: One year after Trump’s inauguration, we revisit his speech
One year ago, President Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. In his speech, he painted his picture of America and made promises for his presidency. White House correspondents Jenna Johnson and Josh Dawsey listen back and discuss.
Jan 19, 2018
We'll be back in 2018
With highlights from some of this year's best episodes, Allison Michaels signs off for now.
Dec 15, 2017
Special episode: What does Doug Jones's win in Alabama mean for the country?
Robert Costa reports on voter sentiment from Alabama. Plus, we dive into what happens for Trump, Congress, and party divisions in our country now that Alabama has elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
Dec 13, 2017
Trump's lawyer says a president can't obstruct justice. Can he?
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sari Horwitz guides us through Trump's lawyers' comments on obstruction of justice. Plus, legal experts weigh in on differing legal perspectives and how presidential pardoning may play a role in obstruction.
Dec 08, 2017
Is Trump reshaping an entire branch of government -- the judiciary?
Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes weighs in on presidential influence on the federal courts system. Plus, we talk to a political science professor about the demographic breakdown of Trump’s nominees and how it differs from that of presidents past.
Dec 01, 2017
Why do American presidents pardon turkeys anyway? A holiday episode.
Where did this tradition come from? What does it mean to “pardon" a turkey? We’ve got you covered in this special holiday episode with Post reporter Jessica Contrera who attend the annual tradition at the White House.
Nov 22, 2017
Trump’s pressuring the Justice Dept to investigate Clinton. Can he do that?
What are the limitations of a president's influence on the Justice Dept? Reporter Devlin Barrett offers the latest news, fact checker Glenn Kessler unpacks Uranium One, and a once dep. special counsel explains risks for politicizing the Justice Dept.
Nov 17, 2017
One year since Trump's election: Live show
Bob Woodward, David Fahrenthold and Karen Tumulty join Allison Michaels live on stage at Washington, DC's Warner Theatre for a look back on the past year, an exploration of where this presidency fits into history and plenty of laughs.
Nov 10, 2017
How much power does a president have to prevent terrorist attacks?
Reporter David Nakamura helps us answer: Can Trump keep us safe from terror attacks? We talk to an expert to learn how terrorist groups recruit. Plus, we examine how much power presidents have to influence counterterrorism policy.
Nov 03, 2017
Special episode: Trump's associates have been indicted. Can Trump himself emerge unscathed?
What do developments in the Mueller investigation mean for Trump? Are indictments proof that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election? Reporter Matt Zapotosky answers these questions on a special break-in episode.
Oct 31, 2017
Will Trump lose GOP majorities in 2018 if he keeps fighting with Republican lawmakers?
Public criticism of the president from GOP senators seems unprecedented. But is it? Reporter Sean Sullivan weighs in on implications for the 2018 election. Plus, historian Dr. Laurence Jurdem on what FDR's past actions mean for Trump today.
Oct 27, 2017
Will President Trump end the opioid crisis?
How much power does the president have to solve a crisis that kills so many Americans? Reporter Scott Higham takes us on a deep dive into The Post-60 Minutes investigation of the pharmaceutical industry's influence on America’s opioid epidemic.
Oct 20, 2017
Is it within a president's power to strip broadcast licenses?
We revisit the president-press relationship with media columnist Margaret Sullivan and talk to reporter Aaron Blake about President Nixon. Plus, Georgetown's Andrew Jay Schwartzman explains limitations of the Federal Communications Commission.
Oct 13, 2017
Did Trump advisers break the law by using personal email for White House business?
How does use of private email by Trump’s advisers compare to Clinton’s? We answer key questions with political investigations reporter Rosalind Helderman and former White House Staff Secretary and current global security and data lawyer Rajesh De.
Sep 29, 2017
What can Paul Manafort's actions tell us about the Trump campaigns ties to Russia?
Pulitzer Prize-winner Carol Leonnig explains the complexities of Manafort's involvement in the Mueller investigation. Plus law professor Jimmy Gurulé on where Manafort’s actions may cross a legal line. Can Manafort walk away from this unscathed?
Sep 22, 2017
Will Trump be able to work with Democrats and still maintain the support of his base?
The Post's Robert Costa adds insight to Trump's latest deals with Democrats and what they mean for his political future. Plus, Nick Troiano of the Centrist Project explains America's political parties and the risks of a system ideologically divided.
Sep 15, 2017
What does Trump really want for the 'dreamers'?
What does Trump hope will happen in Congress? With white house reporter David Nakamura, we talk to John Sandweg, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director about policy. Plus, a dreamer in the DACA program shares her story.
Sep 08, 2017
Will Trump get emergency response funding for Texas, as promised?
How does Trump’s response to this natural disaster compare to that of past presidents? We talk to former FEMA administrator R. David Paulison. Plus, congressional reporter Mike DeBonis is back on the show to break down how relief funding works.
Sep 01, 2017
What's lost when a president opts out of ceremonial duties?
With chief correspondent Dan Balz, we answer: Can a president fail to participate in tradition? Plus, we learn how President Reagan handled similar events and we talk to a former White House Social Secretary about planning these moments.
Aug 25, 2017
Does a president need to unify the country to govern effectively?
In the aftermath of violence in Charlottesville, Va., we examine the history of political appeals to white fear and how past presidents have responded to crises. The award-winning Wesley Lowery weighs in on the state of race relations in America.
Aug 18, 2017
How much power does a president have to lead us to nuclear war?
With insight from White House reporter Jenna Johnson, we learn the answers to this critical question from an expert in North Korean history and a professor who’s worked in past White Houses on counter proliferation and nuclear arms control.
Aug 11, 2017
Will Trump's new chief of staff fix a White House in chaos?
Can Kelly bring order to the White House? We talk to Kristine Simmons from the Bush White House, Chris Whipple, author of "Gatekeepers: How The White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency," and Greg Jaffe who has reported on Kelly for years.
Aug 04, 2017
Is it unusual for a president to publicly berate members of his own cabinet?
Can a president fire the attorney general? How much influence does a president have over the Justice Department? Reporter Ashley Parker, historian Tim Naftali and law professor Steve Vladeck on the politics, historical context and legal limitations.
Jul 28, 2017
Trump promised to bring back American jobs, can he do that?
What can a president do to revive an industry in decline? Amy Goldstein, author of “Janesville: An American Story,” tells us what happens to people when factories close. Plus, Scott Paul of Alliance for American Manufacturing on how to help the industry.
Jul 21, 2017
Did Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer violate the law?
Jens David Ohlin, vice dean at Cornell Law School, explains the legal boundaries and political consultant Tracy Sefl takes us into the world of opposition research. Plus, "Trump Revealed" author Marc Fisher on the president's reaction to the news.
Jul 14, 2017
Will Trump deliver on his health-care promises? (Part II)
Health policy reporter Paige Cunningham breaks down the Senate bill and explains what’s at stake. Plus, we talk to Republican Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Ariz., about how health care legislation directly affects his constituents.
Jun 30, 2017
Special episode: Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault
In an exclusive report, The Post's national security team goes inside the Obama administration's decision-making after the CIA captured Putin issuing these instructions: defeat Clinton and help elect Trump. Reporter Greg Miller tells the story.
Jun 23, 2017
How much of Obama's Cuba policies could Trump rollback?
Will Trump's policy toward Cuba undo the Obama administration's efforts to normalize relations? What's at stake? Karen DeYoung answers those questions. Plus, the history of U.S-Cuba relations and Obama's special assistant on U.S-Cuba negotiations.
Jun 16, 2017
Will Trump accomplish his infrastructure promises?
The Post's Damian Paletta on how much Trump can achieve. Plus, former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak on facing tragedy in his city in 2007. And Henry Petroski, author of "The Road Taken" on the history of America's infrastructure and how we got here.
Jun 09, 2017
Special episode: What we learned from Comey's testimony
The Post's national security reporter Matt Zapotosky explains what Comey's words at Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing mean for the multiple investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and what happens next.
Jun 08, 2017
Is Trump isolating our strongest allies by backing away from key agreements?
The Post's White House bureau chief Philip Rucker offers insight from his trip abroad with the president. Plus, former ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder explains the relationship between the U.S. and Europe, and the value of international agreements.
Jun 02, 2017
What can Michael Flynn's actions tell us about the Russia investigation?
Harvard's Alex Whiting explains where former national security adviser Michael Flynn's actions might break the law. Plus, The Post's Greg Miller tells us how Flynn fits in the story of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
May 26, 2017
Amid turmoil in the U.S., can Trump's first international trip turn things around?
President Trump leaves for his first international trip after two tumultuous weeks back home. Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent Kevin Sullivan joins us right off the plane from Saudi Arabia -- Trump's first stop.
May 19, 2017
Special episode: Can a president reveal classified information?
Greg Jaffe, one of The Post reporters who broke news of Trump revealing classified information to Russian diplomats, is on the show to explain presidential power when it comes to classified information and what happens next in this developing story.
May 16, 2017
How much power does a president have to affect an investigation?
As the fallout from Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey continues, we take a look at the limitations of presidential power when it comes to investigations. Plus, we assess how history measures up, with Bob Woodward and Marc Fisher.
May 12, 2017
Special episode: Can Trump fire the FBI director?
The timing of FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination raises a lot of questions. The Post's national security reporter Matt Zapotosky discusses what we know now and what more there is to learn as this critical story unfolds.
May 10, 2017
Would Trump be able to break up the 9th Circuit Court?
Can President Trump break up a federal circuit court because he disagrees with their decisions? Are there consequences for suggesting he'd do so? With political reporter Amber Phillips, we talk to historians and legal experts to answer these questions.
May 05, 2017
100 days: Is Trump in violation of his contract with American voters?
Post reporters convene in a round-table conversation about Trump's achievements and failures in his first 100 days and what it means for the next four years of his presidency.
Apr 28, 2017
Do power struggles in the White House make Trump a more effective president?
Do staff tensions interfere with Trump's ability to govern? And are these rivalries by Trump's design? White House bureau chief Philip Rucker talks to former Trump aide Sam Nunberg about what it's like to work for Trump -- and to get fired by him.
Apr 21, 2017
When it comes to acts of war, how far can Trump go?
With military action, when can a president bypass Congress and what are the consequences? National security reporter Dan Lamothe, American University's Nora Bensahel, and former advisor to Susan Rice, Loren Schulman, help us answer that question.
Apr 14, 2017
What can (and can’t) Trump associates do when it comes to Russia?
Congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian helps answer: What can history show us about presidents’ relationships with foreign governments? When is communication illegal? And at what point do allegations turn into concrete findings?
Apr 07, 2017
Does Ivanka Trump’s new White House role hold up against legal and ethical standards?
This week’s episode asks a slightly different question: Can she? How do potential business conflicts and issues of nepotism factor into Ivanka’s new role? And with First Lady Melania Trump taking a relative backseat, is Ivanka filling in the gaps?
Mar 31, 2017
Will Trump be able to deliver on his healthcare promises?
In a setback for the president, a vote on the GOP health care overhaul plan was delayed Thursday. How does it affect Trump's promises to voters? The Post's Mike DeBonis explains the politics, and we talk to Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) about what's next.
Mar 24, 2017
Will Trump really cut programs people depend on?
Trump’s budget proposes massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor: Can he do that? The Post’s Kelsey Snell weighs in on whether Trump’s requests will be met. Plus, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen shares how Democrats in Congress are reacting.
Mar 17, 2017
Are Trump's attacks on the media a threat to freedom of the press?
How unusual is Trump's behavior toward the media? Media columnist Margaret Sullivan weighs in on that question and on what's at risk for democracy. Plus, WHCA president Jeff Mason shares what it's really like to be a member White House press corps.
Mar 10, 2017
Does Trump’s success depend on his relationship with Congress?
A master class in the relationship between party and president: The Post’s Robert Costa explains who’s running the show in Washington. He talks to GOP insider Grover Norquist on party unity under Trump and what it means for their agenda in Congress.
Mar 03, 2017
Do President Trump's business conflicts violate the Constitution?
The Post’s award-winning David Fahrenthold breaks down Trump’s many businesses, his complex foreign ties and the Emoluments Clause.
Feb 24, 2017
Will Trump ever release his tax returns?
Trump is the first major party nominee in decades to not release returns. What happens now that he's president? Does Flynn's resignation change things? Plus, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) on Democrats' efforts to make Trump's returns public.
Feb 17, 2017
Should Trump be spending weekends at Mar-a-Lago?
President Trump frequents his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, has a triplex penthouse in Trump Tower in downtown Manhattan and has his last name blazoned on dozens of properties around the world. Does that change things for the office of the presidency?
Feb 10, 2017
Will President Trump's immigration ban survive?
Is President Trump's executive order temporarily barring entry into the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries within the bounds of presidential power? With Marc Fisher, Post senior editor and author of "Trump Revealed," we answer that and more.
Feb 03, 2017
Can he tweet that?
We take a close look at Trump's tweets now that he's president. Can he make official policy statements on Twitter? And does that dictate government action? We explore the pros and cons when a president has a direct line to the people.
Jan 27, 2017
Introduction to the podcast
Host Allison Michaels gives a look at what to expect from the newest podcast from the Washington Post.
Jan 23, 2017