Donald Trump’s historic presidency is unlike any other that’s come before it. From a record-setting staff turnover rate to unpredictable policy decisions to an ongoing investigation into his campaign, each episode of this podcast focuses on one aspect of Trump’s time in the White House that raises the question: ‘Can He Do That?’
Led by host Allison Michaels, the podcast features Washington Post reporters and experts to illuminate the ways Donald Trump can reshape the presidency. And what that means for the United States and the rest of the world.
What happens when a president asserts executive privilege?
The conflict between Congress and the White House accelerated as President Trump blocked access to the unredacted Mueller report. Reporter Carol Leonnig explains executive privilege and what Trump's assertion means for Congressional investigations.
How does Attorney General Barr view presidential power?
Reporter Devlin Barrett weighs in on Attorney General William Barr's contentious week on the Hill -- a week that raised questions about Barr's views on presidential power and his role as the top national law enforcement officer in the country.
Will Trump stop Congress from obtaining documents and testimonies?
Our country is facing a largely unprecedented battle between the White House and Congress. Post investigative reporter Tom Hamburger explains this week's subpoena fights and how the tension between Trump and House Democrats might escalate.
After nearly two years, America finally gets its first look at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report. The Post's Justice Department reporter Matt Zapotosky explains new insights we've gained from an early look at the details.
Trump dismantled leadership at DHS. Can he fill key vacancies however he wants to?
Reporter Nick Miroff explains what shakeups at the Department of Homeland Security mean for U.S. immigration enforcement. Plus, a look at the president's power to fill important vacancies, from Stanford law professor Anne Joseph O'Connell.
Trump's decision to definitely, maybe close the border now -- or a year from now
Will Trump ultimately decide to shut down the border? And why keep the country -- including his own administration -- in suspense awaiting a border closing decision? Damian Paletta, the Post's economic policy reporter, explains.
National security reporter Devlin Barrett explains what we know so far about the findings of the special counsel's Russia investigation, what clarity we’ve gained from Attorney General William P. Barr's summary, and what questions remain unanswered.
President Trump’s campaign for 2020 began shortly after he won the 2016 election. Post reporter Jenna Johnson and U.S. Naval Academy professor Brendan J. Doherty explain how presidents grapple with the inherent tension between campaigning and governing.
Does the president get to decide which planes can fly?
Reporter Toluse Olorunnipa explains how global pressure, calls with industry executives and self-proclaimed expertise contributed to Trump's decision to announce an emergency grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 airplanes.
Congressional Democrats ramp up investigations into Trump
With congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian, we look at how Capitol Hill's investigations work, how the Democrats are trying to hone their oversight strategy and which lines of inquiry might have significant consequences for the president.
Will Trump’s emergency survive legal and congressional challenges?
How will legal battles over President Trump's emergency play out in the courts? How will Democrats push back in Congress? Is there anything stopping Trump from starting to build the wall today? The Post's legal affairs correspondent Fred Barbash explains.
Trump to declare a national emergency and Barr is confirmed
Can Trump get funding for a border wall by declaring a national emergency? And can the new U.S. attorney general decide what happens to the Mueller report? Here's a refresher episode answering key questions surrounding Thursday's news moments.
Better, faster, stronger? Fact-checking Trump's State of the Union address
Which of President Trump's Tuesday night claims were accurate? Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly of The Washington Post's Fact Checker team unpack the truth behind some of the biggest claims around immigration, the economy and foreign policy.
How much power does an attorney general have to protect a president?
William Barr's delayed confirmation vote for attorney general means there's less clarity on who'll see Robert Mueller's report. Post reporters Dan Balz and Devlin Barrett look at history, precedent and law regarding special investigations.
The Supreme Court allowed Trump’s transgender troops ban to proceed. What happens next?
In a vote Tuesday, the court allowed Trump's restrictions on transgender troops to go into effect. The Post's courts reporter Fred Barbash explains how a president’s policy rises to the Supreme Court, and how it reflects a president's power.
The longer the shutdown lasts, the weirder the consequences get
Can Nancy Pelosi postpone the State of the Union address? Can Trump cancel Pelosi's travel? Can Trump and Pelosi find a way to reopen the government? The Post's Colby Itkowitz and Joshua Dawsey unravel details of our country's ongoing political standoff.
Does Trump have the power to declare a national emergency to get border wall funding?
Can a president choose to invoke emergency powers whenever he wants? Liza Goitein of the Brennan Center for Justice explains the extent of Trump's power in states of emergency. The Post's Philip Rucker breaks down the challenges of border wall politics.
Will Trump face a challenger for the GOP's 2020 nomination?
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) wrote an op-ed asserting his independence from Trump -- a move that prompted speculation about a potential 2020 bid. The Post's Robert Costa explains what it would take for Romney, or another GOP contender, to challenge Trump.
Will Trump, "a tariff man," win the trade war with China?
Amid escalating tensions and stalled talks between the U.S. and China, financial reporter David J. Lynch and Beijing Bureau Chief Anna Fifield explain what's at stake for Trump, the two countries and the global economy.
What power does Trump have to push back on GM for closing U.S. plants?
The revival of American manufacturing is a key part of Trump's economic message. Now that GM faces cuts, he's threatened to impose import penalties, and revoke subsidies. What's within his power? Economic policy reporter Damian Paletta explains.
How much power does a president have over election recounts?
Amid recounts in Florida, the president has used strong rhetoric to cast doubt on our elections. Can he do that? Amy Gardner, reporting from Broward County, Fla., explains what's at stake for Republicans, Democrats and the president himself.
How will Democrats use their new power as a check on the president?
Will a Democratic House stop President Trump's agenda? Mike DeBonis explains how House Democrats might stall Trump's policies in Congress, and Karoun Demirjian breaks down how far the Democrats might go in investigating the president.
Trump forced out his attorney general. Can he do that?
Jeff Sessions and President Trump have had a tense relationship since Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation last year. So why did Trump request his resignation now? And what are the implications for control of Mueller’s ongoing probe?
How do the midterm election results reflect on the president?
After time on the trail tracking candidates and talking to voters, David Weigel offers insight on last night's results. Which party can claim the biggest wins? Was last night a referendum on President Trump? And will we see a new era of bipartisanship?
President Trump has played an outsize role in midterm campaigns. Can he do that?
Are midterm elections always a referendum on the sitting president? Reporters Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer explain whom Trump has endorsed, which candidates have embraced Trump's policies and how his presence might play out at the polls.
Trump says he'll stop a migrant group from crossing the U.S. southern border. Can he do that?
White House reporter David Nakamura explains which pieces of border operations and immigration law Trump can change or influence. Plus, Kevin Sieff recounts migrant experiences from his time traveling with the caravan in Mexico.
Trump faces a challenging moment in Saudi-U.S. relations. What's at stake?
Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggis disappeared from a Saudi consulate in Turkey. His editor, Karen Attiah, sheds light on Khashoggi as a person and a writer. Reporter Shane Harris breaks down this pivotal foreign policy moment.
Trump made some strange financial moves in the decade before he became president. Can he do that?
Trump's financial past includes $400 million in cash spending, $300 million in private loans and a $50 million loan to himself. David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell unravel their investigation into the mysteries of Trump's finances from 2005-2015.
How can the Supreme Court maintain impartiality in America's modern political climate?
What happens to the public's perceived independence of the Supreme Court when confirmation processes devolve into partisan battles? The Post's Robert Barnes explains the evolving relationship between politics and the judiciary.
Kavanaugh and Ford will testify at the Senate. Here's what to expect.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will testify in relation to sexual misconduct allegations that have arisen during Kavanaugh's confirmation process. With much at stake, Trump is standing by his nominee for now.
Trump ordered Russia investigation documents declassified. Can he do that?
At odds with the Justice Department, Trump wants some texts, interviews and warrants made public. We explore his exercise of presidential power when it pushes against well-established norms and creates conflicts of interest.
President Trump says we are “absolutely, totally prepared” for Hurricane Florence. Are we?
Trump called the handling of Hurricane Maria an "unsung success" and falsely said its high death count was generated to make him look bad. As we face Florence, reporter Joel Achenbach adds insight to Trump's claims and the state of our preparedness.
Exclusive: Phone call between President Trump and Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward sought an interview with President Trump as he was writing "Fear," a book about his presidency. Trump called Woodward in early August, after the manuscript had been completed, to say he wanted to participate. This is audio of that call.
Trump threatened to "take a look" at Google for "rigged" results. Can he do that?
Does the administration have power to regulate the information technology companies distribute? Post technology reporter Brian Fung, technology ethicist David Ryan Polgar and law professor Genevieve Lakier explain how far Trump can take his concerns.
Michael Cohen spent years alongside Trump. What might he know?
Trump’s longtime lawyer and friend, who made a plea implicating Trump this week, has connections to the president’s charity and business. Post reporter Rosalind Helderman explains what we've learned from documents made public by Cohen’s plea.
Michael Cohen implicates Trump. Paul Manafort is found guilty. What happens now?
Within a few minutes on Tuesday afternoon, two people close to Trump are declared guilty. This special break-in episode with Post reporter Devlin Barrett breaks down what these major developments mean for the President of the United States.
Trump is trying to enforce an NDA against Omarosa Manigault Newman. Can he do that?
A former White House aide is releasing details from her time in the administration. Trump wants to stop her. White House reporter Joshua Dawsey and watchdog director Danielle Brian explain what happens when a president seeks NDAs for government employees.
Trump wants to distance himself from Paul Manafort’s trial. Can he do that?
The ongoing trial of Trump’s former campaign manager can affect the future of the Mueller investigation. National security reporter Devlin Barrett and former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz explain what the jury’s verdict might mean for the president.
Trump says that even if there were collusion, there was no crime. Can he do that?
What are the legal lines surrounding collusion? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Carol Leonnig and white-collar defense lawyer Jacob Frenkel analyze the legal and political consequences of President Trump’s latest suggestion that “collusion is not crime.”
What Trump's rhetoric at his rallies can tell us about his approach towards policy and diplomacy
In June, national political correspondent Jenna Johnson and producer Anne Li went to a Trump rally in Duluth, Minn. Johnson has been to dozens of Trump rallies, but this time, she and Li focused on something different - the crowd.
Given what we've learned from the 1994, 2006 and 2010 midterms about how partisanship, divisiveness and polarizing presidents all affect affect both midterm elections and the powers of the presidency, we ask if Democrats can flip the House in 2018.
2010 was the year of the Tea Party, the year of backlash against Obama, and the year of the biggest shift of power in the House in a century. But it’s also the year that Republicans executed a little-noticed strategy that cemented their place in power.
To understand the identity crisis within the Democratic Party, you could look to the 2006 midterm election … and the story of a junior congressman named Rahm Emanuel, who needed to win 15 seats in the House to restore his party to greatness.
How to Flip the House: The 1994 Republican revolution
Since childhood, Bill Paxon was a diehard Republican – a Nixon fanboy who watched House Republicans lose midterm elections for decades. Then he became a member of Congress. And he was finally in a position to help them get the 42 seats they needed to win.
How to Flip the House: A prologue on why midterm elections matter
In the last 60 years, the House of Representatives has changed political control just three times: in 1994, 2006, and 2010. What do those midterms tell us about what it takes to flip the House? And about why midterm elections matter?
Post reporter Devlin Barrett joins us for a special episode to talk about the Justice Department inspector general's report on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
Does the President have the power to downsize the government?
Since President Trump entered office, he's promised a radical restructuring of the federal government — including significant cuts to the size of the federal workforce. But that hasn't happened yet. On this episode, we ask: What's the hold-up?
Should the president run the White House like a family business?
On this week's episode, we talk about presidential family members, and about Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and embattled senior adviser. What happens when a president's own children wield influence in the White House?
Will teen victims of school shootings force a change in federal gun laws?
In this week's episode, Post reporters John Woodrow Cox and Wesley Lowery talk about their experiences covering school shootings — and why the outraged message from South Florida teens might get some traction with lawmakers, and with Trump.
Congress has been kicking around versions of the Dream Act for almost two decades — and yet, the latest debates in the Senate suggests that lawmakers are still can't come up with a long-term solution for Dreamers. Can Trump strike a deal on the Dream Act?
The House Intelligence Committee publicly released a memo Friday, and it has Washington D.C. in a whirlwind. National security reporter Matt Zapotosky explains what's in the memo, why it's been so controversial and what happens next.
Special episode: Trump's first State of the Union address
Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher and political reporter Eugene Scott discuss the major themes of President Trump's first State of the Union address -- what he said, what it means, and what comes next.
Special episode: One year after Trump’s inauguration, we revisit his speech
One year ago, President Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. In his speech, he painted his picture of America and made promises for his presidency. White House correspondents Jenna Johnson and Josh Dawsey listen back and discuss.
Special episode: What does Doug Jones's win in Alabama mean for the country?
Robert Costa reports on voter sentiment from Alabama. Plus, we dive into what happens for Trump, Congress, and party divisions in our country now that Alabama has elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
Trump's lawyer says a president can't obstruct justice. Can he?
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sari Horwitz guides us through Trump's lawyers' comments on obstruction of justice. Plus, legal experts weigh in on differing legal perspectives and how presidential pardoning may play a role in obstruction.
Is Trump reshaping an entire branch of government -- the judiciary?
Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes weighs in on presidential influence on the federal courts system. Plus, we talk to a political science professor about the demographic breakdown of Trump’s nominees and how it differs from that of presidents past.
Why do American presidents pardon turkeys anyway? A holiday episode.
Where did this tradition come from? What does it mean to “pardon" a turkey? We’ve got you covered in this special holiday episode with Post reporter Jessica Contrera who attend the annual tradition at the White House.
Trump’s pressuring the Justice Dept to investigate Clinton. Can he do that?
What are the limitations of a president's influence on the Justice Dept? Reporter Devlin Barrett offers the latest news, fact checker Glenn Kessler unpacks Uranium One, and a once dep. special counsel explains risks for politicizing the Justice Dept.
Bob Woodward, David Fahrenthold and Karen Tumulty join Allison Michaels live on stage at Washington, DC's Warner Theatre for a look back on the past year, an exploration of where this presidency fits into history and plenty of laughs.
How much power does a president have to prevent terrorist attacks?
Reporter David Nakamura helps us answer: Can Trump keep us safe from terror attacks? We talk to an expert to learn how terrorist groups recruit. Plus, we examine how much power presidents have to influence counterterrorism policy.
Special episode: Trump's associates have been indicted. Can Trump himself emerge unscathed?
What do developments in the Mueller investigation mean for Trump? Are indictments proof that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election? Reporter Matt Zapotosky answers these questions on a special break-in episode.
Will Trump lose GOP majorities in 2018 if he keeps fighting with Republican lawmakers?
Public criticism of the president from GOP senators seems unprecedented. But is it? Reporter Sean Sullivan weighs in on implications for the 2018 election. Plus, historian Dr. Laurence Jurdem on what FDR's past actions mean for Trump today.
How much power does the president have to solve a crisis that kills so many Americans? Reporter Scott Higham takes us on a deep dive into The Post-60 Minutes investigation of the pharmaceutical industry's influence on America’s opioid epidemic.
Is it within a president's power to strip broadcast licenses?
We revisit the president-press relationship with media columnist Margaret Sullivan and talk to reporter Aaron Blake about President Nixon. Plus, Georgetown's Andrew Jay Schwartzman explains limitations of the Federal Communications Commission.
Did Trump advisers break the law by using personal email for White House business?
How does use of private email by Trump’s advisers compare to Clinton’s? We answer key questions with political investigations reporter Rosalind Helderman and former White House Staff Secretary and current global security and data lawyer Rajesh De.
What can Paul Manafort's actions tell us about the Trump campaigns ties to Russia?
Pulitzer Prize-winner Carol Leonnig explains the complexities of Manafort's involvement in the Mueller investigation. Plus law professor Jimmy Gurulé on where Manafort’s actions may cross a legal line. Can Manafort walk away from this unscathed?
Will Trump be able to work with Democrats and still maintain the support of his base?
The Post's Robert Costa adds insight to Trump's latest deals with Democrats and what they mean for his political future. Plus, Nick Troiano of the Centrist Project explains America's political parties and the risks of a system ideologically divided.
What does Trump hope will happen in Congress? With white house reporter David Nakamura, we talk to John Sandweg, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director about policy. Plus, a dreamer in the DACA program shares her story.
Will Trump get emergency response funding for Texas, as promised?
How does Trump’s response to this natural disaster compare to that of past presidents? We talk to former FEMA administrator R. David Paulison. Plus, congressional reporter Mike DeBonis is back on the show to break down how relief funding works.
What's lost when a president opts out of ceremonial duties?
With chief correspondent Dan Balz, we answer: Can a president fail to participate in tradition? Plus, we learn how President Reagan handled similar events and we talk to a former White House Social Secretary about planning these moments.
Does a president need to unify the country to govern effectively?
In the aftermath of violence in Charlottesville, Va., we examine the history of political appeals to white fear and how past presidents have responded to crises. The award-winning Wesley Lowery weighs in on the state of race relations in America.
How much power does a president have to lead us to nuclear war?
With insight from White House reporter Jenna Johnson, we learn the answers to this critical question from an expert in North Korean history and a professor who’s worked in past White Houses on counter proliferation and nuclear arms control.
Will Trump's new chief of staff fix a White House in chaos?
Can Kelly bring order to the White House? We talk to Kristine Simmons from the Bush White House, Chris Whipple, author of "Gatekeepers: How The White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency," and Greg Jaffe who has reported on Kelly for years.
Is it unusual for a president to publicly berate members of his own cabinet?
Can a president fire the attorney general? How much influence does a president have over the Justice Department? Reporter Ashley Parker, historian Tim Naftali and law professor Steve Vladeck on the politics, historical context and legal limitations.
Trump promised to bring back American jobs, can he do that?
What can a president do to revive an industry in decline? Amy Goldstein, author of “Janesville: An American Story,” tells us what happens to people when factories close. Plus, Scott Paul of Alliance for American Manufacturing on how to help the industry.
Did Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer violate the law?
Jens David Ohlin, vice dean at Cornell Law School, explains the legal boundaries and political consultant Tracy Sefl takes us into the world of opposition research. Plus, "Trump Revealed" author Marc Fisher on the president's reaction to the news.
Will Trump deliver on his health-care promises? (Part II)
Health policy reporter Paige Cunningham breaks down the Senate bill and explains what’s at stake. Plus, we talk to Republican Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Ariz., about how health care legislation directly affects his constituents.
Special episode: Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault
In an exclusive report, The Post's national security team goes inside the Obama administration's decision-making after the CIA captured Putin issuing these instructions: defeat Clinton and help elect Trump. Reporter Greg Miller tells the story.
How much of Obama's Cuba policies could Trump rollback?
Will Trump's policy toward Cuba undo the Obama administration's efforts to normalize relations? What's at stake? Karen DeYoung answers those questions. Plus, the history of U.S-Cuba relations and Obama's special assistant on U.S-Cuba negotiations.
Will Trump accomplish his infrastructure promises?
The Post's Damian Paletta on how much Trump can achieve. Plus, former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak on facing tragedy in his city in 2007. And Henry Petroski, author of "The Road Taken" on the history of America's infrastructure and how we got here.
Special episode: What we learned from Comey's testimony
The Post's national security reporter Matt Zapotosky explains what Comey's words at Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing mean for the multiple investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and what happens next.
Is Trump isolating our strongest allies by backing away from key agreements?
The Post's White House bureau chief Philip Rucker offers insight from his trip abroad with the president. Plus, former ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder explains the relationship between the U.S. and Europe, and the value of international agreements.
What can Michael Flynn's actions tell us about the Russia investigation?
Harvard's Alex Whiting explains where former national security adviser Michael Flynn's actions might break the law. Plus, The Post's Greg Miller tells us how Flynn fits in the story of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Amid turmoil in the U.S., can Trump's first international trip turn things around?
President Trump leaves for his first international trip after two tumultuous weeks back home. Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent Kevin Sullivan joins us right off the plane from Saudi Arabia -- Trump's first stop.
Special episode: Can a president reveal classified information?
Greg Jaffe, one of The Post reporters who broke news of Trump revealing classified information to Russian diplomats, is on the show to explain presidential power when it comes to classified information and what happens next in this developing story.
How much power does a president have to affect an investigation?
As the fallout from Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey continues, we take a look at the limitations of presidential power when it comes to investigations. Plus, we assess how history measures up, with Bob Woodward and Marc Fisher.
The timing of FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination raises a lot of questions. The Post's national security reporter Matt Zapotosky discusses what we know now and what more there is to learn as this critical story unfolds.
Would Trump be able to break up the 9th Circuit Court?
Can President Trump break up a federal circuit court because he disagrees with their decisions? Are there consequences for suggesting he'd do so? With political reporter Amber Phillips, we talk to historians and legal experts to answer these questions.
Do power struggles in the White House make Trump a more effective president?
Do staff tensions interfere with Trump's ability to govern? And are these rivalries by Trump's design? White House bureau chief Philip Rucker talks to former Trump aide Sam Nunberg about what it's like to work for Trump -- and to get fired by him.
When it comes to acts of war, how far can Trump go?
With military action, when can a president bypass Congress and what are the consequences? National security reporter Dan Lamothe, American University's Nora Bensahel, and former advisor to Susan Rice, Loren Schulman, help us answer that question.
What can (and can’t) Trump associates do when it comes to Russia?
Congressional reporter Karoun Demirjian helps answer: What can history show us about presidents’ relationships with foreign governments? When is communication illegal? And at what point do allegations turn into concrete findings?
Does Ivanka Trump’s new White House role hold up against legal and ethical standards?
This week’s episode asks a slightly different question: Can she? How do potential business conflicts and issues of nepotism factor into Ivanka’s new role? And with First Lady Melania Trump taking a relative backseat, is Ivanka filling in the gaps?
Will Trump be able to deliver on his healthcare promises?
In a setback for the president, a vote on the GOP health care overhaul plan was delayed Thursday. How does it affect Trump's promises to voters? The Post's Mike DeBonis explains the politics, and we talk to Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) about what's next.
Trump’s budget proposes massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor: Can he do that? The Post’s Kelsey Snell weighs in on whether Trump’s requests will be met. Plus, Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen shares how Democrats in Congress are reacting.
Are Trump's attacks on the media a threat to freedom of the press?
How unusual is Trump's behavior toward the media? Media columnist Margaret Sullivan weighs in on that question and on what's at risk for democracy. Plus, WHCA president Jeff Mason shares what it's really like to be a member White House press corps.
Does Trump’s success depend on his relationship with Congress?
A master class in the relationship between party and president: The Post’s Robert Costa explains who’s running the show in Washington. He talks to GOP insider Grover Norquist on party unity under Trump and what it means for their agenda in Congress.
Trump is the first major party nominee in decades to not release returns. What happens now that he's president? Does Flynn's resignation change things? Plus, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) on Democrats' efforts to make Trump's returns public.
President Trump frequents his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, has a triplex penthouse in Trump Tower in downtown Manhattan and has his last name blazoned on dozens of properties around the world. Does that change things for the office of the presidency?
Is President Trump's executive order temporarily barring entry into the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries within the bounds of presidential power? With Marc Fisher, Post senior editor and author of "Trump Revealed," we answer that and more.
We take a close look at Trump's tweets now that he's president. Can he make official policy statements on Twitter? And does that dictate government action? We explore the pros and cons when a president has a direct line to the people.