"Political Climate" podcast is now backed by USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Photos: Brooks Kraft/Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

"Political Climate," a podcast that tracks the politics and substance of global warming policy, has new partners and wider ambitions.

What's new: It's now backed by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The first episode of the new season landed this morning.

  • "Political Climate" was previously a Greentech Media project, and Greentech's Julia Pyper will remain the host, but she's moving into a contributing editor role there and spending more time on the pod.

Why it matters: Climate change has become a front-burner political topic in the 2020 White House election cycle, a break with past national elections. It's also a big focus on Capitol Hill.

How it works: Involvement of Schwarzenegger's institute and DiCaprio's foundation will mean "collaboration on many activities including sponsorship funding, marketing support, guests, live shows, international events, calls to action, and engagement with students," Brandon Hurlbut, partner with the energy advisory firm Boundary Stone Partners, said in an email.

  • Hurlbut, who served as chief of staff to Obama-era Energy Secretary Steven Chu, joins Pyper each week with Shane Skelton, a partner with the consulting firm S2C Pacific and previously a senior aide to former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan.

What's next: Guests this season are slated to include former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He said in a statement:

"As 7 million people die every year from pollution, the Political Climate podcast is bringing bipartisan conversations about energy and the environment to the public at a critical time and that's why the USC Schwarzenegger Institute is excited to partner with them."

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.