Post Reports

‘He's got competing instincts here’: Trump’s shifting response to Saudi oil-field attack

Anne Gearan explains the White House’s shifting messaging on Iran. Drew Harwell on how Beijing-based TikTok is suspected of censoring the Hong Kong protests. And Maura Judkis takes us into the kitchen with “Queer Eye” star Antoni Porowski.
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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.

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The complications of Trump’s contradictory statements on Iran
Saudi Arabia estimates that damage from the attack on its oil facilities over the weekend has cut production by 50 percent.

While Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen initially claimed responsibility for the attack, the United States dismissed those claims, saying the damage was too extensive and the execution too sophisticated to be done by them.

“The working assumption among U.S. officials is that Iran was behind it,” says White House reporter Anne Gearan, “but the United States has not made a 100 percent determination.” 

U.S. officials are reluctant to unequivocally assign blame directly to Iran. On Twitter, President Trump said that the United States was “locked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran. He then abruptly shifted gears, saying that the United States did not “want war with anybody.” 

“He’s got competing instincts here,” Gearan says. “At the same time as the president wants very much to confront a tough adversary with greater toughness, the president also very much wants to negotiate with Iran.” 

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Hong Kong protests largely absent from Beijing-based TikTok 
Protests in Hong Kong are in their 15th week with no sign of abating. Evidence of unrest can be quickly found on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. But on the Beijing-based social media app TikTok, Hong Kong protests are almost nowhere to be found. 

“This might be censorship,” says tech reporter Drew Harwell. “The Chinese government and the Communist Party are extremely heavy-handed in the kind of materials they allow online.” 

TikTok is one of the most popular mobile apps in the United States and is China’s most successful social media export abroad. But its opacity is igniting fear and suspicion that the company is censoring the pro-democracy protests at the expense of its users and shaping their understanding of world events. 

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More than guacamole 
Food writer Maura Judkis takes us into the kitchen to whip up some recipes from “Queer Eye” food star Antoni Porowski’s new cookbook. 

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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.