The Gist

The Nuclear Power of the Presidency

The threat of the bomb is still real, even if now we think it’s just an idea.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, Mike Pompeo and Mary Louise Kelly.

In the interview, Fred Kaplan is back and this time he and Mike are talking about nuclear bombs. They discuss the history of nuclear weapons in the US, why it’s concerning that Trump holds the detonator, and how these bombs factor into modern day peacekeeping. Kaplan’s new book is The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War.

In the spiel, Trump team’s closing arguments.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Priscilla Alabi.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.