In 1986, Soviet leaders deliberately lied to the world about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Putting millions at risk, the government prioritized regime stability over a public health emergency. As the death toll from the coronavirus continues to rise, we likewise see authoritarian systems suppressing information, ultimately facilitating the disease’s spread.

On this episode, Yaroslav Trofimov joined Dany and Marc to compare the Chinese response to the coronavirus with his experience as a 16-year-old boy in Kiev during Chernobyl. The three also discuss how authoritarian regimes like China’s, Iran’s, and North Korea’s contribute to the disease’s fatality rate and whether the virus’s spread will have any impact on Xi Jinping’s rule.

In their new bestselling book, “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America,” Pulitzer Prize winning authors Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker provide detailed reporting on President Donald Trump’s character, his leadership, and his personal and political style.

Leonnig and Rucker recount a number of incidents that have come to shape perceptions of the Trump administration, including the infamous Tank meeting, Trump’s apparent ignorance of what happened at Pearl Harbor, and more. But Dany and Marc also press the authors on the president’s strengths and the qualities that may in fact make him “genius”—though perhaps not always stable.

After visiting Moscow in 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders praised the Soviet system and established a sister city relationship with his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Throughout his time in office, Sanders regularly hobnobbed with and supported Communist, anti-American and anti-Israel leaders.

The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin joined the podcast to discuss Sanders’ foreign policy record and what having a democratic socialist as president would mean for American leadership abroad. He also touches on the broader Democratic field, explaining how their proposed national security policies differ from those of Donald Trump.

The UK recently announced that it would allow the Chinese telecom company Huawei to build portions of its new 5G network. The British decision shocked many US government officials, including President Trump, who had been advising against Huawei’s involvement due to national security concerns.

As members of Congress attempt to convince Parliament to reverse its decision, Dany and Marc sat down with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) to learn more about the dangers of Huawei and the company’s links to the Chinese government. Rep. Gallagher also explains how the UK decision may affect a US-UK free trade agreement as well as the two countries’ intelligence sharing relationship.

Last night, President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address, touching on his administration’s foreign policy and domestic successes. Making history as the first speech delivered by a president who is about to be acquitted in an impeachment trial, Democrats responded contemptuously with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ending the night by publicly tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech.

On this episode of the podcast, Dany and Marc debrief on Trump’s SOTU, the end of the impeachment trial and its implications for Trump in 2020. Finally, with the Iowa caucus results still unannounced, Marc recounts his experience in Des Moines earlier this week and explains how the delayed results might affect Democratic candidates.

Chinese officials have confirmed thousands of cases of the coronavirus as foreign governments continue to evacuate their citizens from the city of Wuhan, thought to be the disease’s point of origin. With multiple cases identified in America and stock prices plummeting, how worried should we be about the virus’s spread?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb joined the podcast to talk about the severity of the virus, how it compares to other coronaviruses, and the threat of a global epidemic. He also addresses the United States’ general preparedness to handle serious pandemic viruses and how Chinese authoritarianism augments the coronavirus’s spread.

The Washington Post recently published the Afghanistan Papers, drawing parallels to the Vietnam War’s Pentagon Papers. Throughout the report, the Post alleges that the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations all lied to the public about America’s progress in the war in Afghanistan.

Michael O’Hanlon joined Dany and Marc to explain that the Afghanistan Papers’ narrative is fundamentally wrong. Far from a duplicitous cover up, American leaders and generals never played the war effort up as a great success for public consumption.

In a major rebuke to China, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. Despite trailing in the polls mere months ago, record numbers came out to support Tsai in an effort to save the country’s democracy from becoming a second Hong Kong.

Just one day after the historic election, Dany met with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu to discuss the election results, what they mean for China, and the future of the US-Taiwan relationship. Marc and Dany also reflect on Trump’s Asia-Pacific strategy and whether he has restored deterrence in the region.

Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US air strike in Baghdad last week, escalating tensions in the region and sparking an Iranian strike on two military bases in Iraq. Following the attack, President Trump announced new economic sanctions and said that America would no longer tolerate Iran’s campaign of terror.

Dany and Marc invited Gen. Jack Keane back on the show to provide more detail on what’s really going on between the US and Iran. He discussed the retaliatory actions Iran might take, Democrats’ reaction to Soleimani’s killing, the president’s decision-making process, and whether there truly was an “imminent” attack planned against US personnel in the region.

Despite various domestic and foreign policy achievements, President Trump made a number of grave mistakes in 2019. He asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, used his emergency authority to circumvent Congress on the border wall, invited the Taliban to Camp David, and gave Turkey a greenlight to invade Syria and attack our Kurdish allies.

With the start of the new year, Dany and Marc once again joined forces to debate the ten worst things that the president did in 2019. But does the bad outweigh the good? Listen to the previous episode on the ten best things the president did in 2019 and decide for yourself!

In his third year in office, President Donald Trump continued to deliver an extraordinary list of both domestic and foreign policy accomplishments. He delivered for the forgotten Americans, got NATO allies to cough up more money, stood with the people of Hong Kong, and ordered the operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

With 2019 wrapping up, Dany and Marc teamed up to review and debate the ten best things that the president did this year. But does the good outweigh the bad? On the next episode, they’ll discuss the ten worst things that Trump did in 2019.

What does the Trump administration see as the largest foreign policy priority for the upcoming year? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Dany and Marc to discuss national security challenges – and the Trump administration’s successes.

Pompeo reviews 2019 highlights and looks ahead to 2020, with new details on the president’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran and the threat China poses to the next generation of Americans.

Last Thursday, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party dominated the UK elections, earning a critical victory that will finally pave the way for Brexit. Breaking through the impermeable “Red Wall,” Johnson’s party emerged with 365 parliamentary seats—the largest Conservative win since 1987.

How did Johnson and the Conservatives pull it off? Reporting from the UK, Henry Olsen joined Dany and Marc to discuss the election results and its implications for the 2020 US presidential election. Olsen remarks on the lessons that Donald Trump should take from Johnson’s success and what the Democrats could learn from Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat.

In 2018, US-backed forces in Syria annihilated a Russian platoon of mercenaries, killing hundreds after the Kremlin-supported private army tried to take an American position in Deir al-Zour. The Russian government denied knowledge of the shadowy group, which has been spotted sowing discord in Ukraine, Libya, and the Central African Republic, among other countries.

So who are these people? And where exactly are they operating? Michael Weiss joined Dany and Marc to shed some light on the role of private military companies in Russia and explain how quasi-government organizations such as the Wagner Group are executing Putin’s strategic imperatives worldwide.

Iran is currently experiencing its deadliest political unrest since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago. The regime in Tehran has already killed hundreds of civilians and arrested 7,000 people as anti-government protesters take to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and the country’s faltering economy.

Will this round of protests finally topple the system of the Islamic Republic? And what will happen to the people of Iran if protesters successfully upend the regime? On this episode of the show, Michael Rubin joined Dany and Marc to talk about what’s happening on the ground in Iran, whether the country’s government is truly at risk of collapse, and how protests in Tehran relate to similar unrest in Iraq and Lebanon.

The months-long protests in Hong Kong continue to escalate, with demonstrators and police officers violently clashing at a university campus this week. As protests continue against Communist China, what lessons does the battle for freedom against the Communist Soviet Union hold for Hong Kong? Former Polish President, Solidarity founder, and Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa weighs in.

The former President of Poland and founding Chairman of Solidarity Lech Walesa joined the podcast to discuss his experience with anti-government protests and offer advice to the people of Hong Kong. Promising to stand with demonstrators, Walesa states that he would be willing to go to Hong Kong and fight for the democratic ideals that protesters are demanding.

World leaders gathered in Germany last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But three decades after that momentous occasion, we are once again seeing the rise of socialism, a system of governance that put people in chains both politically and economically. What explains this resurgence throughout Europe and the United States?

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell joined Dany and Marc to discuss the commemoration of the fall of the wall and whether we’ve learned the lessons of history associated with the Soviet Union. Having just hosted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Grenell offers insight into how Germans view the US three decades after American citizens fought for the liberation of Berlin.

November 4th marked the 40-year anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis, when a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans captive for 444 days. Four decades later, has the Islamic Republic of Iran changed its ways? And what role does the hostage nightmare continue to play in US-Iran relations?

Kenneth Pollack joined Dany and Marc to explain what happened on that day 40 years ago, and how the hostage crisis set Iran on a course of enmity with the United States. The three discuss Operation Eagle Claw (the failed US rescue mission), how the crisis contributed toward President Jimmy Carter’s removal from office, and whether President Donald Trump’s Iran approach differs from those of his predecessors.

Over the weekend, President Trump announced that the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed during a raid by US commandos in Syria’s Idlib province. And while Baghdadi’s death is a clear victory in the war on terror, eliminating the leader of ISIS will not eliminate the threat nor defeat the larger Salafi-jihadi movement.

On this episode, Dany and Marc interviewed the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt to learn more about the state of ISIS. The three discuss the American troop withdrawal from northeastern Syria, the relationship between the Islamic State and al Qaeda, and what the international community should do about the thousands of ISIS fighters and families in prisons and refugee camps throughout the region.

Everyone in Washington set their hair on fire following White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s apparent admission of a quid pro quo for assistance to Ukraine in his news conference last week. But are quid pro quos really that bad? (Depends on the quo.) Has the US government used them before? And shouldn’t foreign aid always be dependent on getting something that’s good for America in return?

Dany and Marc sat down with former Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff director Lester Munson to discuss those fateful Latin words. Munson explains that contrary to what many in Washington are saying today, the United States uses quid pro quos in foreign aid all the time. In fact, Americans should expect the US to use quid pro quos when giving away their hard earned tax dollars to foreign governments. That said, no president should leverage aid on getting a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent.