“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring the powers and limitations of the American presidency, and what happens when they're tested. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when branches of government collide.
The Supreme Court says states can require electors to support its popular vote winner. Election law expert Paul Smith of the Campaign Legal Center unpacks what the decision means for both November’s election and the future of the electoral college.
For this Fourth of July, we’re bringing back this special episode. Jeff Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center, explains how the Founding Fathers intended the presidency and how it has evolved. Original air date: July 4, 2019.
Where does the federal response stand? And how does the U.S. response compare to the response globally? What can we learn from countries who are seeing smaller scale spikes and have plans to contain them? Reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Rick Noack explain.
The Washington Post obtained a copy of former national security advisor John Bolton’s memoir. White House reporter Josh Dawsey on what’s in it, the escalating legal battle around it and whether it may influence the 2020 presidential election.
Reporter Seung Min Kim explains the details of federal police reform efforts from Congress and the White House. Plus, Lisa Cylar Barrett of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on whether current local and national efforts reflect the hopes of reform activists.
The administration's response to civil unrest presents major questions about the president’s approach to power. Can Trump use tactics at home that the U.S. condemns abroad? What are the risks of politicizing the military? Reporter Greg Miller explains.
Does the president have the power to deploy the military inside the U.S. against the will of state leaders? Reporter Matt Zapotosky answers critical questions about the president's threat to use the military to contain protests on American soil.
Many counties in rural America face vulnerabilities, as Covid-19 surges across areas that were once spared, reporter Abigail Hauslohner explains. Reporter Aaron Blake weighs in on what this shift means for the president, partisanship and public health.
With an election just six months away, is Trump leveraging his visibility as president? What powers does Trump have to resume rallies? Reporters Sean Sullivan and Toluse Olorunnipa discuss how the campaigns are handling an unprecedented election year.
Michael Flynn's legal battle brings the Justice Department into uncharted territory, with boundaries between the department and the president newly tested. National security reporter Devlin Barrett unpacks the latest in this ongoing story.
White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker offers an inside look at President Trump's late-March decision to extend social distancing guidelines, and his soon-after pivot to strongly push for a quick economic revival and reopening of the United States.
Will the Postal Service survive? Reporter Jacob Bogage details Trump’s desire to withhold a loan from the agency, and elections administration expert Amber McReynolds discusses the challenges of an election likely to rely more than ever on vote by mail.
Which economic levers can Congress and the Federal Reserve control? Plus, what it all means for pumping money into the economy, accruing national debt, and the potential for rising inflation, with reporter Erica Werner and editor Damian Paletta.
3 moments from this week illustrate a president's attempts to increase power and limit the checks on his authority. We unpack those efforts with reporter Emily Rauhala and insight from Claire Finkelstein, law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
What are the risks when clinical trials move quickly? Do they outweigh the benefits? Dr. Mark Gladwin of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center weighs in. Plus, Robert Costa on the president’s actions, as Americans are desperate for a cure.
A hospital’s emergency preparedness chief offers insight into what resources hospitals need right now. Plus, White House reporter Toluse Olorunnipa discusses President Trump’s inconsistent decision-making on how to distribute resources across the country.
Can the president order the entire country to shelter in place? Or the opposite: Can he force states to reopen businesses and resume gatherings? We find answers with reporter Griff Witte and American University Washington College of Law's Lindsay Wiley.
Reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker unpacks the electoral vulnerabilities state primaries have revealed, and election law expert Ned Foley lays out what can -- and legally can’t -- happen as we look toward the general election in November.
The Post’s health policy reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb delves into the shortcomings of the Trump administration’s response to coronavirus so far and some of the measures we may see in the coming weeks to slow its spread and treat those in need.
We navigate The Post’s newsroom in search of answers to a multitude of questions about President Trump’s response to coronavirus, from his efforts to boost the economy to quarantine protocols to his relationship with pharmaceutical companies.
Elaine Kamarck, author of “Primary Politics,” answers questions like: How are delegates and super delegates allocated? Why is it so complicated? And what happens if no candidate wins the majority needed to become the Democratic nominee in July?
Reporter Sean Sullivan and Laura Rosenberger, who leads the Alliance for Securing Democracy, reexamine what election interference looked like in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, and how the ghosts of that experience are reappearing today.
Can the Justice Department push back on a president who pardons for political gain? White House reporter Toluse Olorunippa explores the principles and controversy around presidential pardons in the wake of President Trump’s 11 latest clemencies
Does this post-acquittal moment reflect a president more emboldened than before? White House reporter Ashley Parker offers insight into President Trump’s perception of power and what we can expect to see from him in an election year.
The Senate has now said yes, the president can do that, regarding his conduct in Ukraine. So what does Trump’s acquittal mean for the powers of the presidency? Post senior editor Marc Fisher talks about the future of our country’s balance of power.
How much does Iowa matter for the nomination? How might the Senators’ lesser presence there impact the results? Iowa elections expert Cary Covington and campaign reporter Holly Bailey lay out the complex landscape as we head toward the first state’s vote.
National security reporter Matt Zapotosky covers what an exchange between Bolton and Attorney General Barr might tell us about testing a Justice Department designed to maintain independence from the president and how it may change the impeachment trial.
Trump is fighting impeachment-related battles in both the Senate and the court system. His lawyers have conflicting strategies in each arena. The Post’s Ann Marimow explains why these cases matter for the future of presidential power.
Economic policy reporter Jeff Stein answers key questions about what legal weight a decision from the GAO carries and how likely this ruling is to be considered by the Senate, as House Democrats and the Trump team make their cases.
Congress reporter Rachael Bade offers insight into how the Senate trial process may get thrown off course, how new revelations factor into the trial, and whether the final outcome actually as inevitable as it seems.
After a long standoff, Nancy Pelosi announced that the House will finally consider a resolution to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. Reporter Karoun Demirjian answers questions about what’s been gained or lost in the process.
Where do a president’s powers begin and end when it comes to issuing a strike to kill? Can presidents decide how much force to use against an adversary? National security correspondent Karen DeYoung breaks down the administration’s decisions in Iran.
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. We finish our series from Presidential with the story of Bill Clinton.
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. Here’s the second of their stories from Presidential, on Richard Nixon.
President Trump is just the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings. In 2016, The Post’s Presidential podcast examined the three presidents in that category before Trump. Here are their stories, beginning with Andrew Johnson.
President Trump is the third U.S. president in history to be impeached. Chief correspondent Dan Balz analyzes how this impeachment compares to others, what happens if an impeached president runs again and how Trump’s ability to govern could change.
The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to move the articles of impeachment to the full House. Politics reporter Colby Itkowitz breaks down what happened in the committee debate and what to expect in the House next week.
House Democrats announced articles on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against President Trump in its investigation of his conduct regarding Ukraine. Reporter Mike DeBonis explains what the articles mean, why they matter and what happens next.
This week, the impeachment inquiry offered plenty of new revelations. Political reporter Amber Phillips unravels Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s news conference, the debate over the Constitution, new call logs from the president’s lawyer, and more.
Trump and his lawyers won’t be part of Wednesday’s hearing. Have we ever before seen a president’s legal team absent from impeachment proceedings? Reporter Paul Kane explains how past presidents used their lawyers and how Trump’s approach is different.
The White House’s review of President Trump’s decision to hold up Ukraine military aid found documents showing an extensive effort to justify the move. Reporter Carol Leonnig explains what we know so far about the White House Counsel’s findings.
Key witnesses testified publicly in the House impeachment inquiry this week. Reporter Devlin Barrett unpacks complicated details, notable takeaways from the hearings and where things stand in Congress and the White House at the week’s end.
Here’s what to watch for in a week jam-packed with public hearings. Senior political reporter Aaron Blake explains why each of this week’s witnesses is being called to publicly testify and what news might emerge from the busy scene on the Hill.
Marie Yovanovitch faced lawmakers for hours of testimony Friday. National security reporter Matt Zapotosky breaks down the key moments from the inquiry’s second public hearing. Plus, other impeachment news developments you may have missed this week.
Complete with contentious moments between lawmakers and insight into facts from key witnesses, the first day of impeachment hearings was eventful. Reporter Elise Viebeck breaks down new information and major moments from the day.
Next week’s public hearings mark the beginning of the next phase in the impeachment inquiry, but what exactly does this next phase look like? How long will it last? And when might the inquiry wrap up? Congress reporter Mike DeBonis has answers.
Reporter Amber Phillips breaks down the key takeaways of secret testimony transcripts from the House impeachment inquiry released to the public this week. What new insights have we gained and what might we learn as more transcripts emerge?
Former national security adviser John Bolton could offer firsthand insight into some Ukraine-related events. But Bolton’s relationship with President Trump is complicated. Reporter John Hudson explains what we might learn if Bolton testifies.
Pending a House vote on the Democrats’ resolution, the stage will be set for the next phase of the impeachment probe. Congress reporter Mike DeBonis explains what the new procedures and rules mean for the events on Capitol Hill in the weeks ahead.
Reporter Toluse Olorunnipa explains what GOP lawmakers were trying to achieve Wednesday when they protested in the basement of the Capitol. What role do House Republicans play in defending the president and how much is White House guidance informing them?
What actually happens to a president who’s impeached? What penalties against removed presidents are written into law? Law professor Jessica Levinson offers insight into how the law comes down on reelecting a president faced with an impeachment inquiry.
Senate impeachment trials are rare in American history, but there are some rules and precedent for how it all works. Reporter Paul Kane answers questions like: Can the rules change by Senate vote? Who collects evidence? And does public opinion matter?
Reporter Mike DeBonis explains the information gathering efforts on the Hill this week. Plus, we dig into whether closed door hearings are unusual for a Congressional investigation, and what the inquiry’s pace suggests about the Democrats’ strategy.
First, Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe explains the complexities of the Turkey-Syria conflict. Then, political reporter Robert Costa explains how Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the border area might be putting his political coalition at risk.
Reporter Shane Harris breaks down how the State Department blocked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from testifying to Congress Tuesday. If few testimonies actually happen, what does that mean for the impeachment inquiry going forward?
Reporter Aaron Blake explains what makes Trump’s request of China different from that of Ukraine, how federal election law might apply, and where the founders of our country stood on foreign interference in our government.
President Trump’s targeted effort to discredit, and reveal the name of, a government employee raises questions about legal protections for whistleblowers -- and the repercussions for whoever might disclose his or her identity to the public.
Reporter Matt Zapotosky on how this fast-paced news week unfolded, what we learned from documents, transcripts and testimonies, and what happens next now that House Speaker Pelosi has opened a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.
The latest move from the Trump administration threatens to set in motion a massive legal battle and plunge automakers into uncertainty. The Post’s Juliet Eilperin explains how much power a president has over national environmental policy.
Some of President Trump’s allies described a lost summer, full of controversies and missed opportunities. White House reporter Ashley Parker explains how presidents have strategized in summer, and how Trump’s approach is different.
The commercial war between two economic superpowers has entered a new phase. The Post’s Jeanne Whalen explains whether President Trump’s edict to U.S. business is enforceable and what the latest trade war developments mean for the global economy.
President Trump abruptly canceled a trip to Denmark because the country’s prime minister wouldn’t discuss the purchase of Greenland. Economic policy reporter Damien Paletta explains whether Trump’s effort to purchase Greenland is as unusual as it seems.
After two mass shootings, President Trump is considering background checks and red-flag laws. But he has suggested action on gun control in the past, only to later backtrack. Will this time be different?
Some officials have questioned whether President Trump’s pick for the Director of National Intelligence might use the position to serve Trump’s political interests. Reporter Shane Harris explains the role of the law in the job’s qualifications.
Wednesday’s hearings marked the first time former special counsel Robert Mueller answered questions about his investigation. The Post’s Justice Department reporter Matt Zapotosky explains the significance of Mueller’s answers.
President Trump’s language may be part of his political strategy, but this moment raises questions about what consequences the president can face for using inflammatory language. Fred Barbash explains how Trump’s words can legally work against him.
A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit claiming President Trump is illegally profiting from foreign and state government visits to his D.C. hotel. Post legal affairs reporter Ann Marimow untangles the details and implications for our country.
For this special Fourth of July episode, we’re going back to the beginning. Jeff Rosen, president of the National Constitution Center, explains how the Founding Fathers intended the presidency and how it has evolved.
The president has significant power when it comes to war. Pentagon reporter Dan Lamothe explains what led to this escalation with Iran, Trump’s strategy going forward and how recent events affect international perceptions of U.S. might.
The 'Can He Do That?' team presents a new Post podcast, 'Moonrise' and showcases a segment from the Post's daily podcast 'Post Reports' about developments in Iran and what it has to say about President Trump's approach to foreign policy.
What are the pros and cons for Trump in facing a huge number of candidates? National political reporter Michael Scherer explains how the upcoming Democratic primary debates may help narrow the field and what we can expect as campaign season continues.
Does the law allow Trump to tax Mexican imports? Can the Senate stop him from following through on his threat? Economic policy reporter Damian Paletta explains the potential consequences of Mexican tariffs for American consumers and the economy at large.
President Trump gave Attorney General Barr full declassification authority for his audit of the Russia investigation. Reporter Devlin Barrett explains the president's unusual move and how Barr's power is perceived in the intelligence community.
President Trump cut short a bipartisan infrastructure meeting, telling Democrats he won't work with them until they stop investigating him. Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis explains how Democrats might move forward with legislation and investigations.
At the intersection of regulation and free speech, the "Christchurch Call" presents a challenge for a president who alleges political bias from social media sites. Tech policy reporter Tony Romm explains the potential consequences of Trump's decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.