My latest podcast is with Axios’s Mike Allen, one of the most plugged in reporters in Washington. I hope you will take a listen.
Allen provides a great deal of insight into the current state of journalism, but I suspect what you will find most fascinating are his thoughts on how covering the Trump administration is different from covering other presidential administrations. There are, he says, very few loyalists in this White House: “A huge difference with the Trump crowd is that there were Bush people, and there were Obama people, and they came up with their guy through thick and thin, and they were very loyal to him,” Allen explains. “There aren’t many Trump people. You know that campaign was very thin. What you have is a lot of people who take almost a clinical approach to describing what’s there. So there’s not the reflexive instinct to defend, protect, explain, rationalize the president that you got in past administrations. What you get is like smart people telling you what they’re saying, and that is a huge change.”
That, he suggests, is one reason why there are so many more damning leaks coming from this White House. It might also portend trouble for Trump in the Russia investigation, which Allen doesn’t think is ending anytime soon: ”The one thing that we know about federal investigations, whether it’s of President Clinton, or whether it’s of some real estate family in Richmond, Virginia, as I covered, and that is that federal investigations never end where they start,” Allen says. “What federal prosecutors do is pull threads on the sweater, and this is a sweater with a lot of threads.”
Allen does see at least one enduring legacy of Trump’s presidency: His “use of social media” he predicts, “is one of the elements of Trump that will outlive him. There’s not going to be a lot of former reality stars and self-proclaimed billionaires that are going to be running for office, but something that will outlive him is this power that he’s shown in authentic, direct communication,” Allen explains. “It’s not going to be possible to run from a TV studio like you did in the past.”
Check out the whole thing here.