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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.

Credits: This episode is produced by Amy Pedulla and Naomi Shavin. Dan Bobkoff is our executive producer. Mixing by Alex Sugiura. Theme music by Michael Hanf. Margaret Talev is Managing Editor of Politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Executive Editor. Additional writing, reporting and research by Zach Basu.

Special thanks to Nuria Marquez Martinez, Niala Boodhoo, Alexandra Botti, Jimmy Shelton, and to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, and Roy Schwartz.

Note: This episode has a brief moment of profanity.

Go deeper

Aug 31, 2021 - Podcasts

What's next after 20 years of war in Afghanistan

Today was President Biden’s deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. After two decades of war, the final U.S. plane left Kabul yesterday afternoon.

  • Plus, Biden waives ethics rules for top officials.
  • And, one reverend’s fight against a Texas abortion ban.

Guests: Senior minister of First Unitarian Church in Dallas Daniel Kanter, Axios' Dave Lawler and Lachlan Markay.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, and Ben O'Brien. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker