15 episodes

“Who Is?,” an original podcast by NowThis, explores the back stories of well-known, powerful people in the U.S. Over the course of sixteen 30-45 minute episodes, the podcast will look at top leaders in Washington, Trump’s inner circle, the field of presidential hopefuls and major political donors. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

Who Is? iHeartRadio

    • Politics

“Who Is?,” an original podcast by NowThis, explores the back stories of well-known, powerful people in the U.S. Over the course of sixteen 30-45 minute episodes, the podcast will look at top leaders in Washington, Trump’s inner circle, the field of presidential hopefuls and major political donors. The podcast is hosted by NowThis correspondent Sean Morrow.

    Who is Tom Cotton?

    Who is Tom Cotton?

    Arkansas is one of America’s poorest states. Today, it’s also one of its reddest, and the politicians it sends to Washington, like its star senator, Tom Cotton, aim to cut the government assistance programs that many Arkansans depend on. But the state was once solidly democratic, and elected charismatic democratic politicians like former President Bill Clinton, for decades. In the second of three episodes exploring the contemporary Republican Party, and the future of the party after Trump, Sean Morrow digs into the forces that brought Sen. Cotton to power, including deep pocketed donors like Charles Koch, and untangles the complexities of white identity politics and the nationalization of Southern beliefs and attitudes.   

    Ernie Dumas, Journalist and Author of The Education of Ernie Dumas 


    Tamika Edwards, Executive Director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College 


    Angie Maxwell, Director of the Diane Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Arkansas


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    • 46 min
    Who is Mike Pompeo?

    Who is Mike Pompeo?

    As Democrats nationwide consider who their party will nominate to challenge President Trump in November, Republicans look ahead -- to 2024. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, after a meteoric rise through Kansas politics to leading the CIA and the State Department, is widely believed to be preparing to run for higher office. A businessman; a veteran; and a committed Christian, Pompeo represents one possible future for the Republican Party. He’s also an object example of how conservatives, by and large, have accommodated themselves to Trump. On this episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow inspects the complex and contradictory beliefs and impulses of the man who rode the Tea Party to Congress and Benghazi to fame.


    Lara Jakes, a Diplomatic Correspondent based in the Washington bureau of The New York Times 


    Dion Lefler, Government and Politics Reporter at The Wichita Eagle 


    Tom Shine, Director of News and Public Affairs at Wichita Public Radio, KMUW 


    Nahal Toosi, Foreign Affairs Reporter for Politico


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    • 46 min
    Who is Stephen Miller?

    Who is Stephen Miller?

    Who is Stephen Miller? One of three Senior Advisors to the President--along with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump--Miller is arguably the person who has had the greatest impact on the most people. Policy that Miller has devised, and, thanks to a conservative-leaning Supreme Court, by in large been able to enact, has changed how immigration works in the United States. But that's not all: as one of President Trump's favorite speechwriters, Miller has crafted much of the language that brings "Make America Great Again" to life. On this episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow explores how a Jewish kid from liberal Santa Monica became an immigration hardliner, and dives deep into the history of immigration--and immigration control--in the United States. Airs 02/04/2020.    



    Marisa Franco, director and co-founder of Mijente, a political, digital, and grassroots hub for Latinx organizing and movement building


    Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA, and the author of Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol 


    Nick Miroff, immigration enforcement and Department of Homeland Security reporter at the Washington Post 


    Laurie Winer, co-founder and editor of the LA Review of Books


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    • 48 min
    Who is Jared Kushner?

    Who is Jared Kushner?

    Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump, is probably the most powerful person in the United States who we know the least about. The grandchild of immigrants who escaped the Holocaust, Kushner is the beneficiary of his family’s meteoric rise, and the quintessential rich kid: before his donation-based admission to Harvard, Kushner hobnobbed with politicians and managed segments of his family’s vast real estate holdings. In graduate school, he bought a newspaper--and ran it into the ground--and a billion-dollar Manhattan office tower--which, until the election of President Donald Trump, nearly bankrupted the family business. But once his father-in-law is elected president, Kushner finds himself--or maneuvers his way into--the middle of everything, whether it’s building the wall, devising a solution to the Israel-Palestine imbroglio, or negotiating a trade deal with China. Featuring Andrea Bernstein, author of the newly released book American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power.     



    Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the Trump Inc. podcast from WNYC and ProPublica, and author of American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power



    Daniel Golden, Senior Editor at ProPublica and author of The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates



    Vanessa Grigoriadis, host of Tabloid: The Making of Ivanka Trump and author of Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus



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    • 44 min
    Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

    Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

    How did Saudi Arabia get away with the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kidnapping and alleged torture of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and even 9/11? How does it get away with war in Yemen and human rights violations at home? Oil, and the wealth that oil has brought about. On the first international episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow explores the 34-year-old trillionaire in charge of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, and the story of a monarchy that is using its wealth to secure its global legitimacy--and expand its influence--through investments in Silicon Valley notables like Twitter, Uber, and Slack. Featuring Agnès Callamard, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, who investigated Khashoggi’s 2018 killing.



    Hala Aldosari, Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies


    Agnès Callamard, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions and Director, Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University


    Steven A. Cook, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His latest book is False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East



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    • 39 min
    Who is Mark Esper?

    Who is Mark Esper?

    In the United States, war is big business. The Department of Defense, led by Secretary Mark Esper since 2019, has a budget of $738 billion this year. And while many of those dollars pay for those who serve in the armed forces and the maintenance of a nuclear arsenal, a significant portion of that budget will go to the military-industrial complex, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans about in his farewell address in 1961, and which, prior to his appointment, Secretary Esper represented in Washington as a lobbyist. With the question of war in the air after the United States--in a targeted drone strike on Iraqi soil approved by President Donald Trump--assassinated the second most powerful man in Iran, Qasem Soleimani, who stands to profit? On this episode of Who Is, Sean Morrow dives deep into Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and the military-industrial complex.   



    Kate Brannen, Editorial Director of Just Security


    Jack Detsch, Pentagon Correspondent of Al-Monitor


    Aaron Mehta, Deputy Editor and Senior Pentagon Correspondent of Defense News


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    • 45 min

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