Rank #1: The "Drinking on the Job" Edition
Gina Haspel faces an uphill climb to become the next CIA Director. Former FBI No. 2 Andrew McCabe may face criminal charges. And the Democratic National Committee files suit over the 2016 theft of its emails.
Apr 25 2018
Rank #2: The “I Don’t Get Confused” Edition
Jim Comey has a few words to say. Nikki Haley is not confused about anything. And Mike Pompeo makes a surprise trip to North Korea.
Apr 18 2018
Rank #3: The “Quid, Meet Quo” Edition
The top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine delivers devastating testimony about a quid pro quo. The White House chief of staff says that quid pro quo was real—then says it wasn’t. Plus the latest breaking news on the impeachment inquiry, and what to watch for next.
Oct 24 2019
Rank #4: “The World is a Very Dangerous Place!” Edition
Paul Manafort heads to sentencing amid revelations that he has lied to the special counsel, cooperated with Trump’s legal team, and may have met with Julian Assange. The president stands by Saudi Arabia and its crown prince whom the CIA says ordered the murder of a journalist. And President Trump heads off to meet with world leaders at the G20 Summit.
Nov 29 2018
Rank #5: The 'Flying the Quiet Skies' Edition
The National Security Council has a (very brief) meeting on election security. The TSA has been quietly tracking air travelers for years. And President Trump says he’s willing to meet Iran’s president without conditions. Plus: Predictions! Who will Robert Mueller indict next?
Aug 02 2018
Rank #6: The "No Deal Goes Unpunished" Edition
President Trump decides to undo the Iran deal. Gina Haspel faces a grilling in the Senate. And Devin Nunes wants information that intelligence officials fear could jeopardize a source.
May 09 2018
Rank #7: The “Individual-1 and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" Edition
The gang breaks down one helluva day. Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and what it means for the president.
Aug 23 2018
Rank #8: The Cult-like Atmosphere Edition
The first witnesses testify publicly in the impeachment inquiry. A jury deliberates Roger Stone’s fate. And Turkey’s president Erdogan visits Washington.
Nov 15 2019
Rank #9: The “What Did We Miss?” Edition
President Trump has one of the most tumultuous, and possible disastrous, weeks of his presidency. The president then lashes out at his political enemies in unprecedented ways. And the Justice Department releases, for the first time ever, a warrant application to the secretive FISA Court.
Jul 25 2018
Rank #10: The "-1" Edition
The House Intelligence Committee submits its impeachment report, and the Judiciary Committee takes up the baton. Also, friend of the podcast Sophia Yan gives us an on-the-ground report from China.
Dec 04 2019
Rank #11: The "Washed Up Psychos" Edition
Robert Mueller speaks! What does it mean for the future of investigations and possible impeachment hearings? Bill Barr is given new authorities to declassify information about the Russia probe. And Jared Kushner says he finally has a plan for Middle East peace.
Jun 05 2019
Rank #12: The "New Digs" Edition
A bombshell new book shows the Trump presidency on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The US pulls funding for a Palestinian relief agency. And the president lashed out again at the attorney general and the Justice Department.
Sep 06 2018
Rank #13: The "Sensitive Compartmented Kushner" Edition
Why does senior White House adviser Jared Kushner have a security clearance? President Trump comes back from a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un empty-handed. And the NSA has apparently stopped a controversial surveillance program that collected Americans’ phone records.
Mar 07 2019
Rank #14: The "Special Relationship" Edition
The British ambassador to the U.S. resigns after his candid opinions on President Trump are leaked. Federal prosecutors intensify their investigation of a top Trump fundraiser. And a malicious conspiracy theory about a murdered DNC staffer was planted by Russian intelligence agents.
Jul 10 2019
Rank #15: The "Mar-a-Lago Thumb Drive Lady" Edition
A White House official claims more than two dozen denials for security clearances were overturned. Six months after Saudi agents killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, what has changed in the U.S-Saudi relationship? And oversight committees gear up for the post-Mueller era.
Apr 03 2019
Rank #16: The "Follow Your Lodestar" Edition
John Bolton comes out swinging in his first major speech as national security adviser. Is Russia behind a mysterious string of illnesses at U.S. diplomatic facilities? And Trump administration officials met with coup plotters in Venezuela.
Sep 13 2018
Rank #17: The “There’s No Whimpering in Podcasting” Edition
A senior National Security Council official testifies about Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine. The U.S. military kills the leader of ISIS. And an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe takes a turn.
Oct 30 2019
Rank #18: The "Four-Letter Words that Start with F" Edition
Paul Manafort pleads guilty and agrees to cooperate in the Russia investigation, and Mike Flynn gets a sentencing date. The Justice Department tells two Chinese media companies to register as foreign agents. And Trump declassifies more material about the surveillance of one of his campaign advisers.
Sep 21 2018
Rank #19: The "Acting" Edition
Shane and Tamara and Susan are all away—so Rational Security is dominated this week by acting officials. The acting secretary of defense has been replaced by another acting defense secretary, and much of the rest of the government is vacant as well. Congress and the Trump administration are still butting heads over oversight matters and compliance with congressional information demands for information. And the New York Times reports that U.S. hackers are in the Russian power grid—and want the Russians to know that they're there.
Jun 19 2019
Rank #20: The "Every Day Feels Like Halloween" Edition
Attempted bombings and a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue once again force us to confront domestic terrorism. Top U.S. officials call for a ceasefire and peace talks in Yemen. And a bizarre and apparently fake attempt to spear Special Counsel Robert Mueller prompts an FBI investigation.
Nov 01 2018