In the 5th episode of the “Mack on Politics” podcast, we take a deep dive into Russia and the world of intelligence.
First, we began by speaking with former world chess champion, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, Russian pro-democracy activist and author Garry Kasparov (“Winter is Coming”). We discussed his upbringing in Russia and his adult life as a dissident, what he would tell President-elect Trump about Russia if given the chance, what his views about Henry Kissinger and Rex Tillerson are, how he believes Putin will test Trump in the early weeks of his presidency, if he lives in constant fear for his life, and what a post-Putin Russia looks like.
Then, we spoke to lifetime intelligence community professional John Schindler, who worked at the NSA for nearly a decade, taught at the Naval War College, and is a national security columnist for The New York Observer. We discussed his views about Russian interference in the U.S. election, Wikileaks and what their real mission is, who Edward Snowden is and what his real mission is, and we reviewed Iran and North Korea and the intelligence challenges those opaque regimes pose to the U.S. We finished by examining the state of the U.S. intelligence community, made up of 17 agencies, and then heard John name his four favorite spy movies.
In the fourth episode of "Mack on Politics," we start with a timely interview with Bill Kristol, who recently announced he was stepping away from Editor duties at The Weekly Standard after 21 years. We reviewed how conservative media has grown over 40 years and considered what conservatism means in the Age of Trump. Kristol revealed what he believes the biggest mistake the GOP can make and he detailed how he believed Trump can succeed. Kristol urges conservatives to remain true to their principles in the Age of Trump and he believes most observers are underestimating the coming battles between the GOP and the Trump White House over policy. Kristol admits he is “hopeful” about Trump and his Cabinet, while still concerned about Trump and his character and temperament. Finally, we discuss Kristol’s friendship with Secretary of Defense designee Gen. James Mattis (USMC, Ret.) and what Kristol believes Obama’s legacy will be in foreign policy, specifically as it relates to Israel.
Then we turned to a detailed 2016 campaign discussion with Jeff Roe, the longtime GOP consultant who managed the presidential bid of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). We asked Roe about what he learned from managing a presidential campaign, how he was brought into the Cruz team and how he decided to work for him, whether he thinks in retrospect there was any way to beat Trump in the primary, how Trump beat Hillary, what Roe would suggest Trump do to build a successful reelection effort starting now, and whether he wants to join the Trump administration.
In the third episode of "Mack on Politics," we begin by interviewing former Clinton White House Director of Production for Presidential Events Josh King (@polioptics) about the optics of campaigns. He dives deep on the imagery of the Trump and Clinton campaigns and tells war stories from his Clinton White House days. His recent book, "Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide" is a great and fun read.
Next, we spent some time talking to legendary Washington, DC journalist Betsy Fischer Martin (@BFischerMartin), the former executive producer of NBC's "Meet the Press" for the late Tim Russert, about the state of the mainstream media, how the "Sunday Shows" are changing, what challenges the current media environment places on campaign coverage and how Tim Russert would have covered the 2016 campaign.
In the second episode of “Mack on Politics,” host Matt Mackowiak interviews senior media consultant, NBC News political analyst and co-creator of Showtime’s “The Circus,” Mark McKinnon. They discussed the imagery of the presidential campaign, when McKinnon knew Trump was for real, why Hillary Clinton lost, how they produced “The Circus” and why it was the most successful show in the channel’s history, how McKinnon managed to switch political parties in the late 1990s, what he wishes people knew about George W. Bush, and whether Democrats reflexively opposing Trump are making a political mistake.
Then Mackowiak talked to nationally syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt, author of the bestseller, “The Queen,” about how Trump shocked the world, why he’s encouraged about Trump’s conservative cabinet, how Trump can move his legislative agenda, and what he makes of Trump’s defense and national security team. Then they took a deep dive into the Supreme Court, and Hewitt makes his prediction for President Trump’s first Supreme Court appointment.
Insights from Mark McKinnon and Hugh Hewitt, only on the new episode of “Mack on Politics.”
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In the inaugural episode of “Mack on Politics,” host Matt Mackowiak interviews longtime GOP consultant, NBC News political analyst, and former Jeb Bush Super PAC mastermind Mike Murphy. They discussed how Trump improbably punched through the so-called “Blue wall” of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, how Hillary wasted her national convention, if he had any regrets about strategic decisions made for Jeb’s Super PAC and whether he has any hope for Trump.
Then Mackowiak talked to Erick Erickson, former editor-in-chief of RedState.com, radio host for WSB in Atlanta, Fox News contributor, author, and founder of TheResurgent.com about how Trump won, whether the GOP primary was winnable for anyone else, and what Erickson thinks is the state of the conservative movement in the Age of Trump. They also discussed religious liberty and his own foray into conservative talk radio and migration away from Red State to create his own successful conservative site. (Wednesday, December 14, 2016)