Power Play

POLITICO

Taking listeners inside the minds of those who wield power.

  • 24 minutes 51 seconds
    NATO needs to bend its rules to help Ukraine. Here’s why.

    This week's edition of Power Play comes from the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, where host Anne McElvoy talks to President Zelenskyy’s closest aide, Andriy Yermak, and former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. 

    As Russian forces advance on Kharkiv, delays in weapons deliveries from the U.S. and Europe are proving costly. Now the war has reached a critical moment for Zelenskyy's leadership — and Ukraine. 

    They discuss its ability to withstand Russia's biggest attack yet, a new plan to accelerate NATO membership — and whether security guarantees from the West can bolster the embattled country's future security. 


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    16 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 26 minutes 44 seconds
    Kevin McCarthy on his enemies and making peace with Trump after being ousted as House Speaker

    Among the business leaders, philanthropists and other luminaries attending this year's Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles are politicians — looking to set the record straight, with an eye to future opportunities.


    Power Play host Anne McElvoy joined the Beverly Hills crowd — and talked to Kevin McCarthy, the first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to be ousted during a legislative session. McCarthy reflects on his dramatic downfall and lauds the prospect of Donald Trump's return to the White House. 


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    9 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 30 minutes 35 seconds
    Trump, Xi and how the China-US relationship faces a reset

    Elbridge Colby is a hot pick to be Donald Trump's national security adviser if the former president returns to the White House next year. It's a role which holds huge sway over America's position on the world stage.

    An influential voice in foreign policy circles in Washington, Colby leads the Marathon Initiative, a conservative think tank grappling with how America confronts an increasingly assertive China — a subject that is testing both Democrats and Republicans. 

    In this week's edition of Power Play, host Anne McElvoy talks to Colby, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Trump administration, about U.S. strategy towards China, Russia and Europe — and whether America can rely on its traditional allies.


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    2 May 2024, 4:01 am
  • 31 minutes 54 seconds
    Putin wants to divide the US and Britain. Is it working?

    "America will always defend democracy in its hour of need. We tell our allies: we will stand with you. We tell our adversaries: don’t mess with us." The words of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a rare note of bipartisanship as Congress finally approved a multi-billion dollar package of support to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.  

    For America’s allies, there was a collective sigh of relief. No more so than at the British Embassy in Washington, where host Anne McElvoy presents this week's special episode of Power Play. She talks to the outgoing ambassador, Karen Pierce, about whether the so-called "special relationship" will endure, despite the potential changes of government in Washington and London later this year and the spectre of war around the globe.

    Anne is also joined by John Harris, POLITICO's global editor-in-chief, to mark a weekend of political showmanship and intrigue culminating in the annual White House Correspondents' dinner.


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    26 April 2024, 8:27 am
  • 31 minutes 30 seconds
    Israel-Iran conflict: Biden and Trump vie for answers

    How will responses to the confrontation between Israel, its allies and Iran redefine the line that divides Donald Trump and Joe Biden?

    Host Anne McElvoy talks to Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to Washington and former U.K. national security adviser, about the scenarios facing President Biden and what Trump might do if he returns to office. They also discuss the options available to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in responding to Iran's failed attack.

    They are joined by Nahal Toosi, POLITICO’s senior foreign affairs correspondent in Washington, who has been reporting on this week's dramatic developments.


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    18 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 32 minutes 29 seconds
    Trump's world view: How he'd deal with Russia, China, Iran and the Middle East 

    This week marked the grim six-month milestone since the Hamas terror attack on Israel and the ensuing counter-attack on Gaza, which has led to a mounting death toll and a humanitarian crisis that has divided world opinion.

    While President Joe Biden's White House struggles to help end the bloodshed, what would his opponent — Donald Trump — do differently if he were voted into office later this year?  

    Host Anne McElvoy talks to the Heritage Foundation's Robert Greenway, who knows more than most about Trump’s approach to the Middle East as the architect of the Abraham Accords — and may well be part of his inner team if the former president returns to power in November. As a key adviser in the previous administration, Greenway discusses how a second Trump presidency would deal with the Middle East, Iran, Russia and China. 


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    11 April 2024, 4:01 am
  • 26 minutes 24 seconds
    America’s battle against disinformation in the era of AI

    In the wake of a devastating Islamist terror attack in Moscow, the dark arts of spreading disinformation are again in focus as Russia’s President Vladmir Putin pins blame for the assault on Ukraine.

    As a widening array of countries and malign actors spread fake news and analysis, real life consequences are all too clear. How can democracies like the United States and its allies confront information warfare from their adversaries in the era of artificial intelligence?

    Host Anne McElvoy talks to James Rubin, who leads the Global Engagement Center within the U.S. State Department. Reporting to Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, his job is to disentangle propaganda and disinformation targeting the United States and its allies around the world.

    Power Play will return after the Easter break with the next edition on April 11.


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    28 March 2024, 5:01 am
  • 31 minutes 48 seconds
    Labour’s David Lammy on Trump, ‘visionary’ Margaret Thatcher and his bid to be the UK’s next foreign secretary

    With the specter of a famine and a possible ground incursion of Rafah looming, Israel's allies are fretting. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of an impending catastrophe in Gaza. Yet Benjamin Netanyahu says “no international pressure will stop Israel” from achieving its war aims. 

    The wars in the Middle East and Ukraine and uncertainty about who will be calling the shots in the White House next year are testing European foreign ministers — and those vying for their jobs. Nowhere more so than in Britain’s Labour party, which is under closer scrutiny as it looks likely to form the next U.K. government.

    Host Anne McElvoy talks to Labour's David Lammy about the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, cultivating friendships across the aisle in Washington and paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher.


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    21 March 2024, 5:01 am
  • 30 minutes 16 seconds
    Meet the mayor from Florida who wants to be Trump's VP

    Now that Donald Trump is all but certain to lead his party into November’s presidential election in the U.S., it’s make up your mind time for Republicans – are they with him or not? One of them is a big gun in Floridan politics, the Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez. 

    Suarez earned a national profile by briefly entering the race for the White House last year before dropping out as the Trump bandwagon rumbled on. He’s gained wider attention for his efforts to lure companies to Miami, with an eye on turning the city into a crytpo hub and the next Silicon Valley. 

    In this week's episode, host Anne McElvoy sits down with the mayor in his waterfront offices in Miami. They discuss his recent endorsement of Donald Trump, the changing character of the Republican Party and the crisis on America's Southern border. Suarez also responds to allegations of impropriety in his administration.


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    14 March 2024, 5:01 am
  • 31 minutes 48 seconds
    Biden's State of the Union and Trump rematch | Interview with POLITICO's global editor-in-chief

    From Maine to California, Super Tuesday is the biggest date in the calendar for the United States primary election — a third of delegates for the Republican and Democratic conventions have been chosen. 

    While Donald Trump didn’t quite manage a clean sweep, the former president looks all but certain to face Joe Biden in November — now that the only other contender for the Republican crown, Nikki Haley, has pulled out. 

    As President Biden makes his final State of the Union address before the election, it’s shaping up to be an epic rematch of 2020 ... with even higher stakes at home and abroad. 

    From Washington, host Anne McElvoy brings together two of POLITICO's finest minds on the state of play in this year's race for the White House. She's joined by John Harris, global editor-in-chief and co-founder of POLITICO, who's observed many Super Tuesdays; and Josh Gerstein, senior legal affairs reporter, who's following the race being played out in the courts.


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    7 March 2024, 5:01 am
  • 30 minutes 24 seconds
    Will NATO send troops to Ukraine? Estonia’s Kaja Kallas on war, Trump and European defense

    As European leaders gathered in Paris this week, there was a sense of foreboding about the war in Ukraine, and the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is a further reminder of how far the Kremlin will go to suppress its foes.

    Nowhere is the threat posed by Russia felt more acutely than on Europe’s Eastern frontier — and especially in Estonia, home to a significant ethnic Russian population.  

    In this episode, host Anne McElvoy talks to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas about the war in Ukraine, as it enters its third year, her campaign to be NATO’s next secretary-general and how she feels about being on Putin's "wanted" list.

    Kallas also responds to suggestions that Western allies could send troops to Ukraine — and described how seriously she takes Donald Trump’s threat not to defend NATO countries who don't pay up on defense.


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    29 February 2024, 5:01 am
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