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Pod Save the World


“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.


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“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.




Is prosecuting presidents a good idea?

Tommy and Ben are joined by Crooked contributor Max Fisher for a segment to discuss a possible Trump indictment and how common presidential prosecutions are around the world. Then Ben and Tommy cover Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow, the retirement age in France, the global implications of the SVB collapse, new reporting on Ron DeSantis and his involvement in Guantanamo Bay, and the latest coronavirus origin theory. Then Tommy is joined by Ethiopian journalist and activist Meaza...


20 years after the invasion of Iraq

Ben and Tommy record a bonus episode to mark the 20-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq to try and answer the question: how did the Iraq war change America and the world? They’re joined by journalist and Iraq war supporter turned vocal opponent Peter Beinart, and Congressman and Iraq war veteran Ruben Gallego.


China’s Iran Deal

Tommy and Ben talk about China brokering a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s wish list to “normalize” relations with Israel, protests of Netanyahu’s changes to Israel’s judicial system, the BBC, soccer and free speech, new reports about who sabotaged the Nord Steam gas pipeline, the president of Mexico’s bizarre press conference, the momentum behind banning TikTok, and Canada’s stance on flipping the bird. Then, Tommy interviews Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash about the global...


Who is poisoning girls in Iran?

Tommy and Ben discuss the suspected poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls, new intel on Havana syndrome, the case for dismantling the DHS, potential Chinese election interference in Canada, South Korea’s plan to end their forced labor dispute with Japan, the deadly battle for Bakhmut in Ukraine, the worlds greatest wine heist in Spain, and another questionable summit in the UAE. Then, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo joins Ben in the studio to discuss sanctions and their role in the...


Will China arm Putin?

Tommy and Ben discuss changes to Mexico’s electoral system, the botched presidential election in Nigeria, Jill Biden’s trip to Africa, new intelligence about the covid lab leak theory, a Brexit breakthrough, more detail on China potentially selling arms to Russia and Europe’s pitch for a potential defense pact and peace deal, the World Bank, and Biden’s immigration policy. Then Tommy is joined by Israel’s Labor Party Leader Merav Michaeli to discuss recent violence the region, Netanyahu’s...


One year of war in Ukraine

Tommy and Ben look back on a year of war in Ukraine and discuss what people got wrong, lessons learned, and where things stand today. Then, Ben and Tommy talk to reporters and Ukrainians about the war including FT reporter and longtime Ukraine resident Christopher Miller, 18-year-old Ukrainian student and artist Assia Vlasenko who escaped Ukraine AFTER SIX MONTHS OF OCCUPATION, Research Director at the European Expert Association Maria Avdeeva who has been documenting Russian war crimes, and...


Biden goes to Ukraine

Tommy and Ben discuss Biden’s surprise trip to Ukraine, Putin’s decision to suspend participation in the New START treaty, the administration’s warnings against providing military support to Russia, the latest on spy balloons, Scotland’s First Minister resigns, near weapons-grade uranium found in Iran, Israeli hackers exposed for meddling in dozens of elections, another deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Mike Pompeo’s embarrassing “best seller”, and AI bots going off the rails. Then, Ben...


Alien Balloon Invasion

Ben and Tommy talk about Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu’s attack on Israel’s judicial system, the ongoing US war against Chinese balloons and UFOs, Kim Jong Un’s likely successor, Saudi influence peddling, the latest in Ukraine as we approach the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, potential Cuba policy changes, India’s Prime Minister Modi raiding the BBC, and Melania Trump’s unexpected visit to the Situation Room. Then Tommy talks to USAID Disaster Response Lead Stephen Allen who is on...


InflateGate: Biden vs Balloon

Tommy and Ben talk about Balloon-gate, Biden’s State of the Union address, the latest in Ukraine, the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria and how to help, Pope Francis denouncing anti-gay laws, and gang violence in Haiti. Then, Ben talks with Rep. Ilhan Omar about her recent removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the message it sends globally. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com...


Israel attacks Iran

Tommy and Ben talk about an Israeli drone attack in Iran, Tony Blinken’s meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Ukraine’s requests for F-16 fighter jets, Putin’s bizarre threat towards Boris Johnson, the latest on Biden’s documents, deadly protests in Peru, Bolsonaro’s request for a US visa, and the Saudi LIV tour’s deal with Trump. Then, Tommy is joined by Save the Children CEO Janti Soeripto to talk about her nine meetings with the Taliban last week in response to the education bans on women and...


Tanks for Nothing

Tommy and Ben discuss a corruption scandal in Ukraine, the debate over sending tanks to Kyiv, Mike Pence gets in on the classified hoarding game, the worst parts of Mike Pompeo’s trash new book, protests in France, Jacinda Ardern’s legacy, Kenneth Roth’s Harvard saga, and the State Department’s war on fonts. Then, Ben is joined by Olesya Vartanyan, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group to talk about the escalating Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. For a closed-captioned version of...


How to handle the Biden docs

Tommy and Ben discuss the Davos summit, the latest round of Biden documents, the U.K. blocking a Scottish law that would make gender change easier, more Russian attacks in Ukraine, the new climate spotlight on the UAE, protests in Israel, China’s population on the decline, and Italy’s biggest mob boss finally getting caught. Then, Tommy is joined by The New York Times Brazil bureau chief Jack Nicas to discuss the fallout from the riots, the comparison to January 6th, and what it all means...


Brazil's January 6th?

Tommy and Ben discuss the riots in Brazil, Biden’s trip to Mexico AND IMMIGRATION POLICY, what a Republican House majority means for defense spending, why you should care about Nigeria’s next election, Iran sentencing protesters to death, MIKE POMPEO’S SAD BOOK and Prince Harry letting it rip on the Royal family. Then Ben is joined by the cast of the documentary “Navalny” to discuss Alexei Navalny’s poisoning, his imprisonment, and Putin’s murderous reign. For a closed-captioned version...


New year, old problems

Tommy and Ben recap all of the world news you missed over the holidays, including the latest on the war in Ukraine, Zelensky’s visit to DC, Bibi Netanyahu’s new government, the end of China’s zero-Covid policy, the new ban from the Taliban against Afghan women, and Bolsonaro’s hideout in Florida. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.


“Can language be more inclusive?”

Tommy introduces Worldos to Radiolingo, a new limited season podcast from Crooked Media and Duolingo. Radiolingo investigates all the ways language shapes our world and how our world shapes language. Hosted by Ahmed Ali Akbar, an audio journalist and James Beard Award-winning writer, each episode introduces a new way of looking at the impact of language across our lives, our relationships, our culture and much more. Radiolingo is a Crooked Media and Duolingo production. In this episode,...


Understanding Iran

Yeganeh and Jason Rezaian join Ben to answer all of your burning questions about Iran: what life is like for girls and women, why this movement is different than any before it, the risk of civil war or wider conflict, and why we should all care about the future of Iran and its people. Then President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Milliband joins to discuss what the IRC is most concerned about in 2023, how to better prevent humanitarian crises and what we can all do to...


Brittney Griner is Home (with Jen Psaki)

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki subs in as cohost, talking with Ben about Brittney Griner’s release, what a Republican House means for Ukraine, executions and risks of escalation in Iran, Morocco’s Cinderella story at the World Cup, and Jen recounts some highlights from traveling the world with Barack Obama, John Kerry and Joe Biden. Then Brittney Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas joins to recount Brittney’s first moments back on US soil, the journey to get her home and what...


Standing up to autocrats (and royals)

Tommy and Ben talk about the ongoing protests in China, Ukrainian strikes into Russia, speculation over Putin’s health, Iran sending mixed messages on the morality police, and Bostonians greeting the royals as warmly as expected. Then, Ben interviews Maria Ressa about the evolution of disinformation spread and how to combat it in the face of autocratic regimes. For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email...


World Corrupt Episode 7: Stoppage Time!

Tommy and Rog examine a tournament in which politics, sport and humanity have all been laid bare; USMNT captain Tyler Adams' leadership and poise when answering questions from Iran's state-run media; and what political and social scrutiny the United States could face as co-host for the 2026 World Cup.


Covid protests rock China

Tommy and Ben discuss the anti-covid lockdown protests sweeping across China, soccer and politics at the World Cup, including the US win over Iran, Biden’s steady effort to thaw relations with Venezuela, updates from Ukraine, Belarus and Malaysia, news about the royal family and a victory for a boring French man. Then Ben is joined by Emma Belcher, President of the Ploughshares Fund to discuss how credible Russia’s nuclear threat really is. For a closed-captioned version of this episode,...