EP 294: Ben Rhodes on Hope, Change, and Pragmatism in World Affairs
Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes talks about how he survived a full 8 years in the White House, his close friendship with President Barack Obama, and what it was like to travel the world representing America. Ben says the Arab Spring taught him that sometimes hope and change have to take a back seat to pragmatism and the big picture. He reveals how he secretly worked with the Pope to reopen relations with Cuba, how sleeplessness led to some frayed nerves during the Iran nuclear negotiations, and how wild conspiracy theories around Benghazi continue to follow him even today. He throws some cold water on Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the FBI to investigate him, discusses how he and Obama emotionally processed Trump’s 2016 victory, and talks about the somber mood on President Obama's final foreign trip as he tried to console/encourage other world leaders like Angela Merkel. Plus the we talk about the Syrian red line, Hillary Clinton’s private server, sanctions against Russia, and Trump’s North Korean photo-op.
Order Ben's book The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House on Amazon or Audible and follow him on twitter at @BRhodes. Today's podcast is sponsored by GooglePlay and Morning Brew.