A few days ago, I tweeted at my old friend and colleague Mike Doran that he should come to my office and record a long conversation about Trump, Russia, and how he parted ways with his many colleagues who became #NeverTrump conservatives:
...civilized and in depth conversation about how we came to see the world in such starkly different terms.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 23, 2017
Doran is a former Brookings colleague now at the Hudson Institute. A Middle East policy specialist, he served in the George W. Bush White House, at the State Department, and at the Pentagon. He is unusual among Washington foreign policy and national security experts in being vocally supportive of President Trump and dismissive of the Trump-Russia allegations. He’s also a friend, whose views I wanted to understand better. For those expecting a shouting match or for an interaction in which I point out everything I disagree with, I would urge you to listen to a different podcast. Mike and I had a long conversation in which we largely did not interrupt one another. I am posting it largely unedited in two parts, one today and one Saturday. The first half deals with how Doran broke with the #NeverTrumpers, how he sees the President, and how he sees the Russia investigation in broad strokes. In the second half, we dive deeper into aspects of the Russia investigation.