Post Reports

‘Finish the wall’: Trump tells aides he’ll pardon misdeeds, say current and former officials

Nick Miroff explains how the president is encouraging misdeeds to get his wall built. Geoffrey Fowler talks about how his credit cards have let companies buy his data. And Rachel Hatzipanagos on anxiety in the Latino community under Trump.
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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

The political price of building the wall – fast
President Trump has repeatedly promised to complete 500 miles of border fencing by the time voters go to the polls in 2020. According to current and former administration officials, he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, seize private land and disregard environmental rules to get it done. 

“And one of the most extraordinary things about this whole process is that the president has been telling aides who raise these worries in meetings – ‘Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,’ ” reporter Nick Miroff says. 

He says the president has waved off aides’ worries about contracting procedures and the use of eminent domain – though White House officials say Trump is joking when he makes such statements about pardons. 

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What the ‘banana test’ revealed
Tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler has made it his life’s mission to figure out the secret life of data. He has investigated what our phones do while we sleep and whether FaceApp is maliciously sucking away our privacy. 

This week, he conducted an experiment by buying bananas and looking into the companies that track, mine and share our data when we use our credit cards. He found that a lot of entities mine and sell that data -- even businesses not involved in the transaction. And we let them. 

“The devil’s in the defaults,” Fowler says. “And they know that.”

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How immigration rhetoric affects Latinos
President Trump’s first campaign came with warnings about Mexican immigrants – that they were rapists, or bringing drugs into the country. He called – and continues to call – migrants’ crossing the border from Central America seeking asylum “an invasion.” 

Reporter Rachel Hatzipanagos says such characterizations have worried many Latinos, whose anxieties were further realized during the El Paso shooting. The man who allegedly killed 22 people told police his targets were Mexicans. Latinos’ constant anxiety has led to a rise in negative health consequences over the course of Trump’s presidency.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.