366 episodes

Underhandedness. Trickery. Unscrupulous behavior. Skullduggery breaks down the conduct of Washington's political class, tracks the latest in conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns coursing through social media — and who is pushing them — and keeps you up to date on the latest investigations into misbehavior by members of Congress as well as current and former government officials. Yahoo News’ veteran investigative journalists Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman break news, offer authoritative analysis on sensitive national security and law enforcement issues and draw intriguing historical parallels from decades of covering D.C. scandals. Come prepared to learn something every week.

Skullduggery Michael Isikoff & Daniel Klaidman

    • News
    • 3.9 • 1.8K Ratings

Underhandedness. Trickery. Unscrupulous behavior. Skullduggery breaks down the conduct of Washington's political class, tracks the latest in conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns coursing through social media — and who is pushing them — and keeps you up to date on the latest investigations into misbehavior by members of Congress as well as current and former government officials. Yahoo News’ veteran investigative journalists Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman break news, offer authoritative analysis on sensitive national security and law enforcement issues and draw intriguing historical parallels from decades of covering D.C. scandals. Come prepared to learn something every week.

    Juneteenth: America's second Independence Day

    Juneteenth: America's second Independence Day

    Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of the enslaved peoples in America in the wake of the end of the Civil War. Over 160 years after it was first celebrated, President Biden signed legislation this week making it a federal holiday. On this occasion, the Brennan Center's Ted Johnson joins hosts Michael Isikoff and Victoria Bassetti to discuss the holiday's legacy, and his new book When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America.


    GUEST:
    - Ted Johnson (@DrTedJ), Author; director, Fellows Program, Brennan Center for Justice
     
    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)
     
    RESOURCES:
    - "McConnell shoots down Manchin's voting compromise" by Jordain Carney (June 17; The Hill)
    - When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America by Theodore J. Johnson (2021; Penguin Random House)
     
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    • 33 min
    Crime and punishment (with Bill Bratton)

    Crime and punishment (with Bill Bratton)

    What is the cause of the nationwide rise in personal, violent crime? Veteran police commissioner Bill Bratton joins hosts Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Victoria Bassetti to discuss the rise in crime, and to comment on the national conversation about the role of police. Bratton shares his thoughts on what reforms are needed, which ones he’s against, and to talk about the role of the “Defund the Police” movement on officer morale. He also has some things to say about his former boss, Rudy Giuliani.


    Plus, we hear from DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the threat of domestic extremists, and get to hear some of the early responses to the new season of the critically-acclaimed podcast Conspiracyland, The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi, which is available now.


    GUEST:
    - Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton), Executive Chairman, Teneo Risk; fmr. police commissioner, NYC (1994-1996; 2014-2016), Boston (1993-1994); fmr. police chief, L.A. (2002-2009)
     
    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
    - Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)
     
    RESOURCES:
    - “Conspiracyland” Season 3: The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi
    - “‘The most significant terrorism-related threat’: DHS secretary says domestic extremists now more a danger to U.S. than foreign terrorist groups” by Michael Isikoff (June 15, Yahoo News)
    - White House Fact Sheet: National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism (June 15)
    - The Profession: A Memoir of Community, Race, and the Arc of Policing in America by Bill Bratton and Peter Knobler (2021; Penguin Random House)
    - “As a longtime police chief, I believe we have to reestablish trust” by William J. Bratton (June 4, Washington Post)
    - “Making New York less safe: Bills in Albany would make it harder to protect law-abiding” by William J. Bratton (June 10; New York Daily News)
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPod
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    • 59 min
    The untaxed rich (with ProPublica's Stephen Engelberg)

    The untaxed rich (with ProPublica's Stephen Engelberg)

    The ultrarich have ways of avoiding paying income tax that regular people simply don’t have access to. This unfair balance-tipping is the subject of new reporting by ProPublica investigators, whose sources furnished them with a trove of data revealing the secrets of the megawealthy. ProPublica editor in chief Stephen Engelberg joins Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Victoria Bassetti to discuss their reporting.


    Plus, get a sneak peek of the new season of the critically-acclaimed podcast Conspiracyland. Season 3: The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi debuts on Monday, June 14th.


    GUEST:
    - Stephen Engelberg (@SteveEngelberg), editor in chief, ProPublica


    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
    - Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)
     
    RESOURCES:
    - “Conspiracyland Season 3: The Secret Lives and Brutal Death of Jamal Khashoggi
    - “The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax” by Jesse Eisinger, Jeff Ernsthausen, and Paul Kiel (June 8; ProPublica)
    - “Why We Are Publishing the Tax Secrets of the .001%” by Stephen Engelberg and Richard Tofel (June 8; ProPublica)
    - “An Exposé Has Congress Rethinking How to Tax the Superrich” by Jonathan Weisman and Alan Rappeport (June 9; New York Times)
    - “ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger on his reporting about ultra-wealthy tax avoidance” (June 9; CNBC)
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPod
    Listen and subscribe to "Skullduggery" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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    • 52 min
    The "enemy of the people" (with Len Downie)

    The "enemy of the people" (with Len Downie)

    Len Downie’s career at the Washington Post lasted over 40 years, and culminated with a stint as Executive Editor that ended in 2008. In light of the shocking news that Trump’s DOJ pursued the acquisition of email data from several New York Times reporters, and a gag order on Times leadership, Downie joins Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman on this episode to discuss role of the free press, the evolving nature and technology of the media, the Trump administration’s antagonistic relationship with the media, and to look back on some of the highlights from his storied career.


    Plus, our hosts are joined by Yahoo News’s Jon Ward to discuss Trump’s return to rallies, ahead of his anticipated appearance at the North Carolina GOP convention.


    GUESTS:
    - Jon Ward (@jonward11), Chief National Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Len Downie, author, former Executive Editor of the Washington Post (1991-2008)


    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
     
    RESOURCES:
    - “As Trump restarts rallies, GOP strategists hope against all odds that he won’t rehash 2020 election” by Jon Ward (June 4, Yahoo News)
    - “White House Disavows Knowledge of Gag Order on Times Leaders in Leak Inquiry” by Charlie Savage and Katie Benner (June 5, New York Times)
    - All About the Story: News, Power, Politics, and the Washington Post by Len Downie (2020; PublicAffairs)
    - Report: The Trump Administration and The Media (Committee to Protect Journalists, Apr. 16)
    - “AP explains why it fired Emily Wilder for pro-Palestinian tweets” by David Goldman (May 30, CNN Business)
    - “Intelligence officials weigh possibility coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab” by Jenna McLaughlin (Apr. 14, 2020, Yahoo News)
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPod
    Listen and subscribe to "Skullduggery" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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    • 50 min
    Let's play Hardball (with Chris Matthews)

    Let's play Hardball (with Chris Matthews)

    Chris Matthews surprised his audience one evening in March of 2020 by suddenly stepping down from hosting “Hardball” on MSNBC, the political roundtable show he’d helmed for over 20 years. Matthews, whose new book This Country: My Life in Politics and History comes out this week, joins Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Victoria Bassetti on this episode to discuss the role of the media in politics, how the polarization of today compares to the era of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, and to talk about the moment Matthews stepped away from his program.


    Plus, our hosts respond to a troubling tweet from Maggie Haberman of the New York Times about Trump’s plans to return to the White House — quicker than seems possible, under a sober reading of the U.S. Constitution.


    GUEST:
    - Chris Matthews (@HardballChris), Author; journalist; former host of MSNBC’s “Hardball”


    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
    - Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)
     
    RESOURCES:
    - This Country: My Life in Politics and History by Chris Matthews (2021; Simon & Schuster)
    - “Chris Matthews retires from MSNBC after string of recent controversies” by Brian Stelter (CNN, March 3, 2020)
    - “Chris Matthews Tells Joy Reid ‘Nobody Needs to Defend Me, I Did Something Wrong” by Daniel Villarreal (Newsweek, June 1)
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPod
    Listen and subscribe to "Skullduggery" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
    Email us with feedback, questions or tips: SkullduggeryPod@yahoo.com.
     
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    • 51 min
    America the Fallen (with Ben Rhodes)

    America the Fallen (with Ben Rhodes)

    How do we rescue American democracy from the corrupt grip of an extremist party, determined to undermine democratic norms and cement minority rule by authoritarian means? This is the problem before us as laid out by Ben Rhodes, the former deputy national security advisor to Barack Obama, co-host of the Pod Save the World podcast, and author of the new book After the Fall. Rhodes joins Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman and Victoria Bassetti on this episode to discuss many aspects of domestic and foreign policy, including the conflict between Israel and Palestinians, the global influence of Xi and Putin, and several of the sweeping legislative proposals before Congress today.


    All of this comes on the heels of the failure in the Senate to form an independent commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection on the Capitol, for which 19 more Senators voted in favor, but failed to meet the 60-vote threshold to invoke cloture.


    GUEST:
    - Ben Rhodes (@brhodes), Fmr. deputy national security advisor to Barack Obama; author


    HOSTS:
    - Michael Isikoff (@Isikoff), Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News
    - Daniel Klaidman (@dklaidman), Editor in Chief, Yahoo News
    - Victoria Bassetti (@VBass), fellow, Brennan Center for Justice (contributing co-host)
     
    RESOURCES:
    - “Senate Republicans Filibuster Jan. 6 Inquiry Bill, Blocking an Investigation” by Nicholas Fandos (May 28; New York Times)
    - “Ex-Speaker Ryan to GOP: Reject Trump, ‘2nd-rate imitations’” by Steve Peoples (May 28; Associated Press)
    - After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made by Ben Rhodes (2021; Penguin Random House)
    - “American Demons: Ben Rhodes’ ‘After the Fall’ Excerpt” (May 26; The Atlantic)
    - “Teshuvah: A Jewish Case for Palestinian Refugee Return” by Peter Beinart (May 11; Jewish Currents)
    - “U.S. to reimpose sanctions on Belarus after forced diversion of Ryanair flight” by Amy B Wang (May 28; Washington Post)
    - “France Suspects Russian Role in Campaign to Discredit Pfizer Vaccine” by Matthew Dalton (May 25; Wall Street Journal)
     
    Follow us on Twitter: @SkullduggeryPod
    Listen and subscribe to "Skullduggery" on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
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    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
1.8K Ratings

1.8K Ratings

scotch62 ,

Very good

Very good podcast to keep informed about current affairs. Issakoff hates the Clintons so if you’re looking for objectivity, just make sure that the topic won’t come close to the Clintons. Overall very good show

midwestBlue ,

bill bratton interview comment

him saying the 3 officers were junior offices even though he said he wasn’t making excuses for them, in essence that exactly what he was saying. here’s the thing if i was one of 3 new people on my job and my team lead said, hey we’re going to steal some stationery products from the company...no, no i wouldn’t go along. why? because it would be the wrong thing to do and not in my character to steal from my employer and i would have told my team lead no. in this case i can only assume those 3 officers did not think it was wrong what chauvin was doing and went along with it and just like a young pup and an old dog, if the old dog has bad behaviors you can be guaranteed the young pup will emulate that same behavior. hopefully the 3 of them won’t ever be a cop again.

Osprey1957 ,

Bill Bratton, pathetic

I enjoy this podcast and, despite sometimes troubling interruptions by Mr. Issikoff (he seems to get excited and can’t wait for his guests to finish speaking), this show has interesting guests and good questions.
Mr. Bratton (17 June 2021) is a shameless apologist for brutalist, racist policing and as hard as it was to listen to his waffling inaccurate answers, I was pleased to hear him pushed into a corner, unable to defend his own lies and dissembling.
But ultimately, his was so blatantly (and blindly) defensively pro-police that he wasn’t able to make any cogent arguments against police reform. If he’s who the police are rolling out to defend current police practices, they are in big trouble.
Naming “Dragnet” as a positive role model for policing...well it leaves me speechless.
Leave this guy to speak at the benevolent association. Real people shouldn’t be subjected to his drivel.

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