Axios’s national political reporter Jonathan Swan on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
It’s no simple task breaking through in the time of Trump — particularly in the agenda-setting newsletter business — when the president may or may not change the global order with a morning tweet. But Allen is supremely plugged in, and according to two people familiar with the matter, he is among the reporters who the president has spoken to privately (although it’s not clear how recently). An interview with Trump, written by Allen and VandeHei, helped launch Axios into the mainstream days before the inauguration. “They’ve been able to become relevant in Trump’s Washington because Mike is Mike,” one White House reporter said.
Much of Axios’s success on the White House beat can also be attributed to Swan, who White House sources say is a fair and well-connected operator. “Mike Allen has got the best insights around town,” Steve Bannon said. “Jonathan has got the best understanding of economic nationalism and the whole economic nationalist part of the White House.”
Swan, a former political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, arrived in the US for a program working on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He used his time on Capitol Hill to network and nab a job at the Hill, the newspaper, distinguishing himself during the 2016 campaign. Swan joined Axios before it had a name, and, bolstered by Allen’s rolodex, quickly became among the “top 5” best-sourced reporters on the White House beat, according to one White House official.