Powerhouse Politics

Headliner interviews and in-depth looks at the people and events shaping U.S. politics. Hosted by ABC News' Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein.

"We Can't Afford Not To Go Big"
28 min
"A Master of the Inside Game"
30 min
"One Thing Leads to Another"
30 min
"Over-Broad" & "Extreme"
35 min
"America Is Worth It"
31 min
"A Point Of View Is Based In Truth"
33 min
Putin Will 'Pay a Price'
44 min
"Dude, It's A Big Bleeping Deal"
32 min
Authors of "Lucky: How Biden Barely Won the Pre...
27 min
"They Crossed A Line"
28 min
"Truth is the Counter to The Big Lie"
30 min
Second Impeachment Trial Begins
24 min
"We Really Have To Meet The Moment"
36 min
"Unity Requires You To Eliminate the Vitriol"
40 min
Steps Ahead
31 min
"A Fatal Condition"
26 min
"Stop Trying To Stoke Fears for Fame"
26 min
Shocking But Not Surprising
19 min
"The Pressure Is Enormous"
31 min
Closing The Book On 2020
39 min
Flipping The White House
23 min
"Respectful in Public and Very Clear in Private"
37 min
"This Is Not for the Faint of Heart"
23 min
"This Has To Stop"
32 min
"This is Crazy. This is Nuts."
37 min
"This Is Not A Search For The Truth"
33 min
Jim Gray: "Talking to GOATs"
26 min
Creating Doubt
26 min
The Apparent Winner
29 min
An Extraordinary Couple of Days
18 min
Election Update: The 'Blue Shift' Begins
7 min
Election Day: What To Watch For
18 min
Ohio Secretary of State, Frank LaRose
24 min
Remarkable Voter Turnout
39 min
Candidates Make Their Closing Arguments
23 min
Trump vs. Fauci
41 min
"A Deep Sickness"
39 min
"All Necessary Precautions"
31 min
An Absolute Chaotic Mess
35 min
Debate Preview: Biden vs. Trump
27 min
"The Bloom Is Off The Rose"
31 min
"Without Victory, There Is No Survival"
36 min
Trump And The Media
32 min
Blocked Bulletin from DHS
34 min
"A Fair Shake"
17 min
Law and Order (Again)
25 min
The Trump Show
17 min
A Turn Toward Optimism?
21 min
"More Optimistic and Less Dire"
31 min
Biden and Bannon
24 min
A Virtual Roll Call
28 min
A Broad Coalition
27 min
A Convention Unlike Any Other
28 min
Harris Makes History
30 min
"It Is What It Is"
32 min
Blame America First?
37 min
It's Not An "Unlimited License"
29 min
The Briefing Room
41 min
"I Didn't Listen to My Experts"
36 min
"If It's Indefensible, It's Indefensible"
42 min
Primary Colors
Election day might be over in Kentucky and New York, but now the real wait begins for results. Some of the outcomes, expected next week, might just reflect how much the country is shifting to meet the moment. But behind the delays is record turnout, since counting all the mail-in ballots takes time. Guest: ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent, Mary Bruce
37 min
"Americans Want Law and Order"
Nearly three weeks after the death of George Floyd, Trump on Tuesday met with American families who have also had loved ones killed by police officers. In signing his executive order, he made it clear that there is overwhelming support for some policing reforms, such as the banning of choke-holds in most incidences. Guest: Dr. Leah Wright Rigueur, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and ABC News contributor Please leave us a review! ----> http://bit.ly/2kI0pXP Check out our other podcasts ----> http://bit.ly/2eBJMNa * ABOUT JONATHAN KARL: Jonathan Karl is ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and Chief White House Correspondent, contributing to all ABC News broadcasts. Karl has covered every major beat in Washington, including the White House, Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, and the State Department. Karl covered all the major candidates in the 2016 election, including the first interview with Donald Trump of the 2016 election cycle. * ABOUT RICK KLEIN: Rick Klein is Political Director of ABC News, leading the network's political coverage and planning, and serves as an on-air political analyst across ABC News platforms. Klein joined ABC News in 2007 from The Boston Globe, where he most recently covered Congress and national politics. Read more ABC News politics coverage: http://abcn.ws/2fRRGC2 Follow Jon on Twitter: http://abcn.ws/2cK8Pv4 Follow Rick on Twitter: http://abcn.ws/2d00npb
28 min
Bonus: Dr. Anthony Fauci
Guest: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
29 min
About That Conspiracy Theory Tweet
Never one to let a wild conspiracy theory pass him by, President Donald Trump Tuesday stoked division online, while otherwise removing himself from the national conversation taking place in local governments and living rooms coast-to-coast. Hours before George Floyd was to be laid to rest, Trump made an unfounded allegation against a 75-year protester who was pushed by police in Buffalo, New York, last week during a protest and remains hospitalized.
29 min
"Enough is Enough"
Up until Wednesday evening, former Defense Secretary James Mattis has stayed mostly silent since resigning from his post in December 2018. But triggered by the "unfolding events" in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white cop, the nation's once top military official released an extraordinary and highly critical rebuke of his former boss. Guests: ABC's Rachel Scott and Martha Raddatz
46 min
Wild Allegations
First, President Donald Trump sees no reason there can't be a convention with "full attendance" this summer and he also sees "no way" that election results can be trusted this fall. Then, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) joins the podcast to share her views on the President's leadership style as well as some very personal stories from her new book, "Daughter of the Heartland." Guest: Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), author of "Daughter of the Heartland"
49 min
The Presidents Club
President Donald Trump has never needed an excuse to go after his predecessor. New dynamics are complicating those attacks. Former President Barack Obama is starting to respond and he’s not alone. Guest: Kate Andersen Brower, author of "Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump"
33 min
'Not Everybody Should Get A Test'
A nation headed in different directions in the midst of a pandemic has a political climate where events may as well be popping up in alternate realities. The reopening debate is breaking along red-blue cultural divides. Guest: Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
34 min
Mr. Doom and Gloom
Two big things are happening at the same time. A scared nation is in the midst of a terrible public-health crisis with no end in sight, while a restless nation pushes toward resuming life as we once knew it. To those ends, President Donald Trump told ABC News that he'd rather be a "cheerleader for our country" as opposed to "Mr. Doom and Gloom." Guest: Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the CDC
23 min
Testing Limits
When Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the nation's coronavirus task force, visited the Mayo Clinic Tuesday in Minnesota and greeted patients, he did so without wearing a face mask, even though everyone else around him did. This, as questions continue to swirl around the nation’s capacity for coronavirus testing. Guest: Former NJ Governor and ABC News Analyst Chris Christie
39 min
Questions Without Answers
Whether in the White House Briefing Room or Rose Garden, President Trump has been taking to the podium daily to update the American people on the response to this global pandemic, but many of the questions he’s asked are not being met with detailed answers. Guest: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
39 min
Bonus: NJ Gov. Phil Murphy
As the U.S. economy continued to worsen dramatically with another staggering jobless claims report out Thursday, President Donald Trump is preparing to make a major push to reopen parts of the country when he speaks with the nation's governors -- and announces new and possibly eased guidelines for some states -- this afternoon. Guest: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
17 min
Checks and Balances
Donald J. Trump's name will be printed in the memo line of the stimulus checks being sent out to American workers beginning this week. Meanwhile President Trump let out a little slack Tuesday in the ongoing and persistent game of tug of war between his White House and state governors. Guest: Washington State Governor Jay Inslee
36 min
Race Against Time
As the vast majority of us continue to work from home during this crisis, again we find Jon Karl and Rick Klein joining the podcast from isolation. The discussion begins just moments after Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he was ending his presidential bid. Meanwhile, there's a new war for the self-described wartime president. Never before has the federal government been poised to spend this much money this quickly in as many different ways as the novel coronavirus crisis demands. Guest: Dr. Zeke Emanuel, oncologist and bioethicist, and a professor and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania.
31 min
"Front Row at the Trump Show"
He’s known and covered Donald Trump longer than any other White House reporter.  ABC News’ Chief White House correspondent and Powerhouse Politics co-host, Jonathan Karl has just published a new book, “Front Row at the Trump Show.” He brings us into the White House in this powerful book unlike any other on the Trump administration. With extraordinary access to Trump during the campaign and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he delivers essential new reporting and surprising insights.
46 min
Human Life or Economic Life?
If President Donald Trump has already made fateful choices in the new coronavirus crisis, wait for what's to come. Trump appears unwilling if not unlikely to wait on the advice of medical professionals before nudging American society back to life. It's as stark and bleak a choice as any president can face: human life or economic life. Guest: Ron Klain, former Ebola response coordinator for President Obama
39 min
"A Wartime President"
Tuesday's races marked big wins for the former vice president, whose delegate lead is now in the realm of being virtually insurmountable. Meanwhile, President Trump’s administration looks for solutions as cases of COVID-19 continue to spread across the country and the economy hangs in the balance. Guest: Former NJ Governor Chris Christie
28 min
Biden's Blowout
The end is in sight for the Democratic primary campaign. The next move in this race belongs to Sen. Bernie Sanders, and him alone. But it's looking like a quieter close all around -- and not just because public rallies are off for a while and Sanders chose not to speak Tuesday night. A range of factors are pointing toward a cleaner and earlier exit by Sanders than anything the party witnessed in 2016. Guest: ABC News' senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce
23 min
And Then There Were Two
This is now a two-way race for the Democratic nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden's huge Super Tuesday reorders the race but doesn't come close to locking anything down. Sen. Bernie Sanders and the progressive movement now regroup, with an intriguing series of states up next, even as California votes still roll in. Guest: David Plouffe, campaign manager for Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential bid
34 min
Bonus: Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
In this special edition of "Powerhouse Politics," co-host Rick Klein speaks with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) about his recent endorsement of Joe Biden and looks ahead to Saturday's South Carolina Primary.
15 min
Rough Crowd
Powerhouse is on the road this week, coming to you from Charleston, South Carolina, site of the next Primary. If Joe Biden goes down, he won't go down alone. The former vice president has company as he enters the last few days of his must-win state, out of a messy debate that showed the conflicting impulses in a crowded field. Guest: Biden campaign adviser, Anita Dunn
25 min
Bloomberg Takes the Stage
Michael Bloomberg gets his very expensive wish in Las Vegas Wednesday night: a Democratic debate where he can draw direct contrasts with his rivals -- Sen. Bernie Sanders in particular. But Bloomberg will have company in making arguments around electability and practicality. And Sanders could have even more company in blasting the billionaire former New York City mayor and his long record running a complicated business and an even more complicated city. Guest: Former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
34 min
After New Hampshire
Former Vice President Joe Biden didn't stick around in New Hampshire to see how far he fell in the final votes. A clean New Hampshire win by Sen. Bernie Sanders provides little clarity in the race. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg comes out of the first two states with two more delegates than Sanders, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s surprise finish puts her in renewed contention, too. Guest: Lis Smith, senior advisor for Buttigieg 2020 campaign
34 min
A Consequential Week
The Iowa caucus. The upcoming New Hampshire primary. The State of the Union. Impeachment. February has been a busy month in the world of politics -- and "Powerhouse Politics" breaks it all down. Guest: Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice and former press secretary for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign
30 min
Bonus: 50/50
As the Iowa caucus nears, former Gov. Howard Dean sits down with "Powerhouse Politics" to discuss what to expect. Guest: Former Gov. Howard Dean
22 min
Iowa and Impeachment
Political attention is divided these days and will remain so, particularly as uncertainty about witnesses leaves the possibility of the Senate impeachment trial spilling into voting season. Guest: Tim Miller, author and former spokesman for the RNC
41 min
Both Sides Admonished
History may not remember that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to spread impeachment arguments over three days instead of two and to let the record from the House to be admitted as evidence in the Senate. But the fact that McConnell budged is a reminder that the history of the impeachment of President Donald Trump has yet to be written.
27 min
"Impeached Forever"
Tuesday night in Iowa was a status quo debate in a world where a whole bunch of campaigns like their status. Four candidates have realistic shots at winning Iowa, while others are still hoping to make a mark; polling stability has actually created uncommon fluidity 19 days out. Meanwhile, the impeachment of President Trump moves to the Senate for trial. Guest: Former Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)
32 min
Repair Work
Among the many uncertainties to confront the 2020 Democratic field, add a big one: America is now functionally at war. It will now be a wartime primary campaign, under clouds of impeachment, in the race to replace a most unpredictable president. Guest: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
29 min
What's Next?
On this special New Year's Day edition of Powerhouse Politics, Jon and Rick take stock of the narrowing field of presidential contenders and look ahead to the next few months on the campaign trail. Then, they're joined by ABC News reporter Beatrice Peterson who is embedded with the Buttigieg campaign.
29 min
Looking Ahead to 2020
On this special edition of Powerhouse Politics, our political roundtable looks ahead to the 2020 race and what the future holds for the newly impeached President of the United States. Guests: ABC's Aaron Katersky, ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks, with Galen Druke and Clare Malone of FiveThirtyEight
22 min
The Impeachment
If you're looking for a moment of clarity, you could do worse than this day for the history books. In the relatively short life of the current impeachment push, political perceptions have shifted far more than the basic facts ever have. As the foregone conclusion becomes reality with Wednesday's pair of House votes on articles of impeachment, events have cemented the partisan divide and party discipline as perfectly as any issue can. Guest: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
30 min
Diametrically Opposed
On one hand, President Donald Trump is facing articles of impeachment. On the other hand, the president has seen some of his biggest legislative wins since he took office. As 2020 approaches, how should potential voters make sense of this? Guests: Trump 2020 Campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh and Sarah Isgur Flores of "The Dispatch"
36 min
A Split Screen Moment
Senator Kamala Harris makes an early exit from the 2020 contest. Yet, for all the big-name busts, Democrats appear to be no closer to uniting around what they want in a candidate. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is closer than ever to impeachment, with the House Judiciary Committee's first hearing today.
25 min
"Unprincipled, Uncalibrated and unAmerican"
Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proven that $37 million -- his week-one advertising bid - buys you a piece of the conversation. His new rivals in the Democratic primary are incorporating him into their stump speeches, preempting his arguments by augmenting theirs. Guest: Neal Katyal, author of "Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump"
36 min
"Everyone Was In The Loop"
What if a debate happens where the candidates would rather be debating someone else? The main event, arguably, is playing out further north, in public impeachment hearings that continue for at least two more days and threaten to consume far more campaign time. Guest: Former Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick
34 min
Irregular, But Certainly Not Outlandish
It's the first day of the historic public hearings on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Democrats called two star witnesses to testify about the president's conduct -- and whether Trump betrayed his oath of office by withholding military aid to Ukraine. Guest: ABC News Correspondent Aaron Katersky
27 min
Election Results & Impeachment Revelations
It might just be that election results speak louder than impeachment revelations. For all the caveats of an imprecise barometer, and those inevitably pointing out Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's flaws, Democrats walk away from Election Day 2019 with more votes in most closely watched contests -- including a 5,000-plus vote lead as of Wednesday morning in the race for governor of Kentucky. Guest: Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), author of the book, "Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America"
31 min
"It's Just Baloney"
The threats to President Donald Trump are multiplying. The responses from the president, meanwhile, are narrowing -- and pushing his allies in uncomfortable directions. Those offering potentially damaging information and testimony now come from inside and outside of Trump's own party, his own administration and even his own White House. Guest: Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
34 min
At Nats Park with Mike Rizzo
As the World Series returns to Washington for the first time in 86 years, Jon and Rick check in with Mike Rizzo, the president and general manager of the Washington Nationals. Rizzo talks about what baseball means to Washington, the secrets behind the success of Juan Soto and Ryan Zimmerman, and how he watches a baseball game.
14 min