Coming up on today's show:
- Last week, The Washington Post reported that Jared Kushner discussed setting up back channel communications between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin. Mark Lowenthal, former assistant director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production for the CIA under the George W. Bush Administration, explains the significance of this new information.
- On Friday, three men were stabbed on a train in Portland, Oregon when they stood up against an anti-Muslim attack. Two of the men died, and a third remains in the hospital. While he was a student at Reed College, one of the victims, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, took Introduction to Islam with Professor Kambiz GhaneaBassiri. GhaneaBassiri joins The Takeaway to remember his student and discuss how the Portland community has responded in the days following the attack.
- The Trump Administration's pledge to punish so-called "sanctuary cities" could jeopardize some local police jobs. In a suburb of Seattle, for example, a federal grant helps pay for 1 out of every 10 officers. But White House officials have threatened to cut these grants to places that don’t fully cooperate on immigration enforcement. Reporter Liz Jones with KUOW public radio in Seattle takes us on a police ride along in one local suburb that’s wrestling with the administration’s funding threats.
- Voters in Maine approved a ranked choice voting system in November. But earlier this week, the Maine Supreme Court ruled that the system violates the state Constitution. The opinion is advisory, but the court suggests that the measure should either be repealed, or that the Constitution is amended. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, and State Senator Catherine Breen, who is fighting to amend the state's constitution, weigh in.
- Americans reached a new milestone in household debt this year, with consumer debt rising to more than $12 trillion — student loans account for more than 10 percent of that debt. Ebony Brown, a married mother of three who lives in Elgin, Illinois, discusses her struggle with debt. Rachel Schneider, co-author of "The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty" and senior vice president at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, explains why financial stability is getting harder and harder to achieve.