Jonathan Swan
Jonathan Swan
Jonathan Swan is a political reporter at Axios covering both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.Source
Washington, DC
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Leaked Ukraine defense memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Leaked Ukraine defense memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios. Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border. Zoom in: On Friday, Russia announced it intends to block foreign ships in parts of the Black Sea for military exercises through October — an escalation that a...

Apr 20
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U.S. ambassador refuses to leave Russia despite Kremlin warning

U.S. ambassador refuses to leave Russia despite Kremlin warning

U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty ImagesThe United States ambassador to Russia is refusing to leave the country after the Kremlin "advised" him to return home following new Biden administration sanctions, two sources briefed on the situation tell Axios.Why it matters: John Sullivan, a respected diplomat who President Biden has, so far, retained from the Trump era, is at the center of one of the most important early tests of Biden's resolve.The big picture: Last week, in response to Russian cyber-espionage and interference into U.S. elections,...

Apr 20
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Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty ImagesPresident Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."Background: Rojansky...

Apr 10
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Caitlyn Jenner explores run for California governor as Newsom faces recall

Caitlyn Jenner explores run for California governor as Newsom faces recall

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Greg Doherty/Getty ImagesFormer reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is talking with political consultants as she actively explores a run for governor of California, three sources with direct knowledge of her deliberations tell Axios.Why it matters: Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, . A challenge from Jenner, a high-profile Republican and Trump supporter, would draw heightened attention to the race to lead the nation's most populous state.Jenner burst onto the national stage when she won the 1976 Olympic decathlon. She transitioned to a woman in 2015 and adopted her new...

Apr 6
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Biden’s next big moves require two things Republicans hate: New taxes and filibuster limits

Biden’s next big moves require two things Republicans hate: New taxes and filibuster limits

President Biden speaks yesterday on the Atlanta killings. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Biden’s next big moves require two things Republicans hate — new taxes and new filibuster limits. Both will make the $1.9 trillion spending bill look easy and calm.Why it matters: Biden wants to reform voting laws and dramatically increase infrastructure spending. It's doubtful Republicans will rush to truly help on either front.Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to blow up the Senate to preserve the legislative filibuster rule, and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is...

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Mar 18
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Leaked government documents spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

Leaked government documents spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesFresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early...

Mar 4
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John Boehner tells Ted Cruz to “go f**k yourself,” goes off-script in audio version of memoir

John Boehner tells Ted Cruz to “go f**k yourself,” goes off-script in audio version of memoir

John Boehner in 2010. Photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call PhotosJohn Boehner has been going off script while recording the audio version of his new memoir, using expletives and asides not in the book — such as the former Republican House speaker saying, “Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f**k yourself."Why it matters: The book is appropriately titled, “." It promises to share “colorful tales from the halls of power, the smoke-filled rooms around the halls of power and his fabled tour bus.” Two sources familiar with the tapings told Axios about the asides.Boehner, 71, was one of 12 children and worked in his...

Feb 26
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Russia's enemies fear Biden won't fight to stop Putin's Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Russia's enemies fear Biden won't fight to stop Putin's Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRussia's adversaries in central and Eastern Europe are worried President Biden isn't willing to fight hard to stop the Russia-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 — one of Vladimir Putin's core priorities.Why it matters: The fight is the first significant test of whether Biden's tough rhetoric against the Russian leader will be matched by action. Russian opponents fear Biden doesn't want to antagonize Angela Merkel and won't inflict serious costs on the Germans.The big picture: The completion of Nord Stream 2 would be a huge geopolitical...

Feb 23
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Off the rails: Trump fixates on GOP disloyalty as mob ransacks Capitol

Off the rails: Trump fixates on GOP disloyalty as mob ransacks Capitol

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty ImagesBeginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession. On Jan. 6, White...

Jan 21
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Caitlyn Jenner files paperwork to run for governor of California

Caitlyn Jenner files paperwork to run for governor of California

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty ImagesFormer Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.The big picture: Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election, hoping her celebrity status and name recognition can yield an upset in the nation's most populous state. She's assembled a team of prominent GOP operatives including Tony Fabrizio, the top pollster on Donald Trump's 2016 and...

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Apr 23
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