How It Happened

All How It Happened episodes

May 28, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand: An Off-The-Books Mission

In this bonus story for How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, Axios political correspondent Jonathan Swan details a botched attempt, made during President Trump's final days in office, to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

  • Trump desperately wanted ending America's longest war to be part of his legacy. Instead, it will be Joe Biden's.
  • Nonetheless, in a recent interview with Swan, Trump took credit for Biden's announcement, insisting he set in motion a plan that could not be stopped.
  • Swan provides listeners the full story of what Trump tried to do, how, and why it ultimately didn't happen.
  • Follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen so you don't miss our second season coming later this year.
Feb 15, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand Part V: Where It Ends

In this episode of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political correspondent Jonathan Swan tracks the unfolding of the Capitol insurrection on January 6, revealing what happened in the Senate and at the White House — and what it means.

  • Swan brings listeners into the secure room where senators sheltered in place, heard remarks from both President Trump and President-Elect Biden, and deliberated how to resume the vote certification process.
  • Swan also reports on the reaction inside the Trump administration, where officials were rapidly resigning, and the ones who remained were strenuously pressuring the president to discourage and disavow the mob of his supporters.
Feb 8, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand Part IV: The Point Of No Return

In this episode of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political correspondent Jonathan Swan chronicles how President Donald Trump destroyed his most valuable political relationship — his partnership with Vice President Mike Pence — and set the events of Jan. 6 into motion.

  • Swan uncovers the surprising catalyst that drove a wedge between Trump and his most loyal ally, a vice president often described as "subservient."
  • Swan tracks Trump's increasing desperation as December became January and how he turned up the pressure on Pence to refuse to certify the election.

Note: This episode contains some explicit language.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Additional reporting and fact checking by Zach Basu. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and theme music by Michael Hanf.

About this series: The reporting in this series is based on multiple interviews with current and former White House, campaign, government and congressional officials as well as direct eyewitnesses and people close to President Trump. Sources have been granted anonymity to share sensitive observations or details they would not be formally authorized to disclose. President Trump and other officials to whom quotes and actions have been attributed by others were provided the opportunity to confirm, deny or respond to reporting elements prior to publication.

This series was reported by White House reporter Jonathan Swan, with writing, reporting and research assistance by Zach Basu.

Feb 1, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand Part III: The Break With Barr

In this episode of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political correspondent Jonathan Swan reveals the story behind President Trump's break from Attorney General William Barr, who had been deeply loyal and a key bridge between Trump and the Republican establishment.

  • Swan takes listeners into the room for two explosive, consequential meetings that lead to Barr's resignation.
  • By examining the breakdown of the relationship between Trump and Barr, Swan shows how Trump began to turn on not just his campaign team, but his most crucial allies in his administration.

Note: This episode contains some explicit language.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Additional reporting and fact checking by Zach Basu. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and theme music by Michael Hanf.

About this series: The reporting in this series is based on multiple interviews with current and former White House, campaign, government and congressional officials as well as direct eyewitnesses and people close to President Trump. Sources have been granted anonymity to share sensitive observations or details they would not be formally authorized to disclose. President Trump and other officials to whom quotes and actions have been attributed by others were provided the opportunity to confirm, deny or respond to reporting elements prior to publication.

This series was reported by White House reporter Jonathan Swan, with writing, reporting and research assistance by Zach Basu.

Jan 25, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand Part II: The Legal Team

In this episode of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political correspondent Jonathan Swan traces how Donald Trump's strategy to dispute the result of the 2020 election evolved from targeted lawsuits to embracing — and amplifying — conspiracy theories.

  • Starting with the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference and digging into subsequent meetings, Swan offers new reporting on how Rudy Guliani and Sidney Powell became the faces of Trump's legal strategy.
  • Swan's reporting takes listeners behind closed doors, where President Trump's inner circle and a group of conspiracy theorists clashed over how best to advise the president.

Note: This episode contains some explicit language.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Additional reporting and fact checking by Zach Basu. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and theme music by Michael Hanf.

About this series: The reporting in this series is based on multiple interviews with current and former White House, campaign, government and congressional officials as well as direct eyewitnesses and people close to President Trump. Sources have been granted anonymity to share sensitive observations or details they would not be formally authorized to disclose. President Trump and other officials to whom quotes and actions have been attributed by others were provided the opportunity to confirm, deny or respond to reporting elements prior to publication.

This series was reported by White House reporter Jonathan Swan, with writing, reporting and research assistance by Zach Basu.

Jan 18, 2021 - Podcasts
How It Happened

Trump's Last Stand Part I: Where It Starts

In episode one of How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, Axios political correspondent Jonathan Swan draws a direct line from President Trump's election night speech, in which he falsely declared victory, to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

But, but, but: The story really starts in early October, as Trump is recovering from COVID-19 and struggling to turn around a flailing campaign.

Go deeper: New episodes come out Mondays, beginning January 18.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Additional reporting and fact-checking by Zach Basu. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and theme music by Michael Hanf.

Jan 16, 2021 - Podcasts

How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand

Introducing a new show from Axios, How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand.

In How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, national political reporter Jonathan Swan reveals the inside story of Donald Trump’s last few months in office.

  • Starting with Trump's COVID-19 recovery, this is the deeply reported story of what really led up to the insurrection on the Capitol and the current unprecedented moment.
  • Swan will take listeners into the Oval Office, onto Air Force One, and behind closed doors, sharing previously unreported details.
  • New episodes will publish on Mondays, beginning Jan. 18.

Credits: This show is produced by Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is the executive producer. Margaret Talev is managing editor of politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Axios’s executive editor. Sound design by Alex Sugiura and original music by Michael Hanf.