US Politics

Australian Jonathan Swan becomes journalism’s new hero after Trump interview.

Jonathan Swan’s interview with US President Donald Trump has gone viral on social media, winning praise across the globe for the manner in which he challenged Trump. His reactions to the US President’s answers have become memes in their own right.

Australian journalist Jonathan Swan's interview with US President Donald Trump has left people on social media in shock and awe. Memes, Veep-style spoof videos and gifs have all been made in honour of Swan's memorable interview with Trump.

The sit down is a rare one on one interview Trump has given to journalists since he took office after the 2016 US elections.

The interview has been widely commended for the way in which he took Trump to task on a range of issues, from high coronavirus case numbers and fatalities in the US, to his comments on Ghislaine Maxwell and allegations Russia sponsored the Taliban to kill US and allied soldiers


Swan’s facial reactions during the interview as he challenged the US President were a sight to behold. And now they’re memes. 

One Twitter user collated a number of Swan’s reactions to Trump with the caption: “Which Jonathan Swan are you today?”

Swan works for US media company Axios, which in collaboration with HBO filmed the interview with Trump. The network connection has left some drawing links with popular HBO show ‘Veep’. One social media user was so enthused they edited a section of the interview with Veep’s end credits and music underneath. 

One clip of the interview, where Swan challenges President Trump over figures relating to coronavirus deaths, now has over 40 million views. 

Swan mentions that COVID-19 related deaths in the US have begun to go up again, but Trump disagrees. He explains why while he holds up pieces of paper: “Well right here, the United States is lowest in numerous categories. We’re lower than the world.” 

Swan responds, “Lower than the world?” But then realises Trump is talking about death as a proportion of cases. 

“I’m talking about death as a proportion of population. That’s where the US is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc,” Swan said.

Trump replies, “You can’t do that.” And Swan asks in response, “Why can’t I do that?” 

Swan’s overnight fame has alerted some Australians about just who his father is: Dr Norman Swan, who in his own right has become a fixture in Australia’s coronavirus coverage on the ABC.

Jonathan Swan previously worked for the Sydney Morning Herald, and now reports on the Trump administration for Axios. In an interview with former BuzzFeed News’ Hannah Ryan, he said he still calls up his father for advice before big interviews.

Some Australians have thought it might be the right time to play a trick on Americans who are now discovering Swan after the interview.

Hint: this was a joke. It wasn’t as obvious to some.