Post Reports

How Vladimir Putin soured the president on Ukraine

Greg Miller describes Vladimir Putin’s role in shaping Trump’s view of Ukraine. Griff Witte spends time with refugees who sought asylum in Australia and ended up in Texas. And Martine Powers on how a city responds to its team’s first World Series.
Listen for free

About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.

In this episode

Who shaped U.S. policy on Ukraine?
A phone call at the center of the impeachment inquiry — during which President Trump attempted to pressure Ukraine into collecting information he could use against political rivals — came as the country’s regional adversaries, Russia and Hungary, were urging the president to adopt a hostile view of Ukraine.

In closed-door testimony, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent told House committees that Trump’s conversations with Viktor Orban, the hard-right prime minister of Hungary, and Russian President Vladimir Putin reinforced Trump’s perception of Ukraine as a corrupt country.

“Putin has done everything to undermine and reform the prospects for democracy in Ukraine,” says intelligence reporter Greg Miller. “He is in Trump’s ear, in their conversations telling him how corrupt it is and how worthless it is.”

A U.S. official told The Post that while American policy has for years been “built around containing malign Russian influence” in Eastern Europe, Trump’s apparent susceptibility to the arguments he hears from Putin and Orban is “an example of the president himself under malign influence – being steered by it.”

More on this topic:

After detention in the South Pacific, a new life in Texas
President Trump’s three-year campaign to reshape the government’s approach toward refugees and immigration has encompassed walls, travel bans and the forced separation of children from their parents. 

But one of his first attempts failed — an effort to block the arrival of refugees who had been detained by the Australian government on remote islands in the South Pacific. Now, more than 600 of those refugees are in the United States, building new lives.

National correspondent Griff Witte met with two such refugees who, after enduring years in geopolitical limbo, are making the most of their second chance at freedom. The two young men, Ali Reza Ataie and Ali Hesar — “the Alis,” as their friends call them — set out to seek asylum in Australia but were rerouted to a remote island when policy changed.

“They’re still wrapping their mind around the idea that they set off to go to Australia and now they’re living in Texas,” Witte says. “It’s an odyssey that they’ve been on for years now and it’s unbelievably unlikely, but they say: Texas has welcomed us. Nowhere else would welcome us. But Texas has.”

More on this topic:

Nationals make their first-ever World Series appearance
The best-of-seven World Series gets started Tuesday night in Houston, coming to Washington on Friday for Game 3.

Many D.C. residents — such as an Uber driver host Martine Powers rode with last week — are thrilled that their beloved Nationals have made it through to the World Series, even if they’re not favored to win.

More on this topic:

An earlier version of this episode incorrectly said the Washington Nationals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to the World Series. The Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.