People are not loyal to the president
Axios launched in tandem with the new administration, so it has helped, with readers and sources, that Axios doesn’t have any prior baggage from 2016. Plus, Allen and Swan, who often go on source meetings together, have a similar metabolism — Allen communicates with hundreds of people 18 hours a day; Swan takes multiple drink and dinner meetings between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Competitors like Politico, the New York Times, and the Washington Post all have a handful of reporters covering the White House, but at Axios it’s just Swan and Allen, with assists from VandeHei and other beat reporters when applicable. Their work ethic, and Axios’s speed at getting information online, has made the site a key information hub in the Trump era.
In July, for instance, Swan reported that Anthony Scaramucci would be named White House communications director, and he scooped in May that Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. “When I started making calls to the administration — I don’t think people were spinning me — a bunch of senior officials in the administration didn’t know,” a rival White House reporter said about the Paris story. “They were people who should have known before Jonathan.”
“People are not loyal to the president,” Swan said. “If you hustle hard enough you get information.”