Tamara Keith | KNKX

Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Previously Keith covered congress for NPR with an emphasis on House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world, from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues, and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake, and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived of and solely reported "The Road Back To Work," a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member station KQED's California Report, where she covered agriculture, the environment, economic issues, and state politics. She covered the 2004 presidential election for NPR Member station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and opened the state capital bureau for NPR Member station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio to cover then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Keith is part of the Politics Monday team on the PBS NewsHour, a weekly segment rounding up the latest political news. Keith is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team didn't make a traditional prosecutorial judgement on whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice. But bestselling author Michael Wolff insists an indictment of the sitting president was contemplated, with legal arguments discussed at length in a 56-page "memorandum of law" Wolff claims to have in his possession.

Pete Buttigieg isn't giving President Trump much credit for saying the South Bend, Ind., mayor's marriage to a man is "absolutely fine" and "good."

"That's nice," Buttigieg said dismissively in an interview on Friday with the NPR Politics Podcast and Iowa Public Radio. "I'm more interested in policies that affect LGBTQ people."

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced an immigration proposal that would dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

The plan "puts jobs, wages and safety of American workers first," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.

"We must implement an immigration system that will allow our citizens to prosper for generations to come," he said.

It sounds a lot like how Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton ran their campaigns.

Lapel pins, exclusive retreats, private conference calls with party leaders, special invitations to leadership dinners. Those are just a few of the perks that President Trump's re-election campaign is offering to supporters who help gather donations from others, a practice known as bundling.

In the midst of a presidential budget proposal destined to generate controversy for its expected drastic spending cuts, White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump wants to have a conversation about increasing the availability and affordability of child care.

NPR has learned that the 2020 White House budget set to be released Monday will call for increased spending on child care and propose an initiative to address shortages.

Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the president can declare an emergency for just about anything. As President Trump has considered using that authority to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the Southern border, that near-unlimited presidential power has gotten a lot of attention. But it isn't the whole story.

President Trump's second State of the Union address will be delivered Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress with all the usual pomp and circumstance. But the political backdrop is unusual, coming in the aftermath of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history and on the eve of what could be another vicious fight or even another shutdown.

The fight at the heart of the shutdown — the fight over the president's border wall — remains unresolved with the clock ticking to make a deal.

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican political operator and confidant of President Trump, was arrested on Friday after being indicted on seven counts including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

Stone appeared at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He did not enter a plea. He was released on $250,000 bond and with travel restrictions that confine him to South Florida, New York City and the Washington, D.C., area.

After a week of tit for tat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, amid a monthlong government shutdown, the White House is now moving ahead with plans for the president's State of the Union address, proceeding as if it were happening as originally planned next week.

White House officials are aiming for the speech to occur before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 29. But it is far from guaranteed. The House must pass a resolution to call a joint session with the Senate before the president can come speak.

Politicians often have to change course when their campaign promises run up against reality. But when President Trump ran for office, and throughout his presidency, an explicit part of his pitch was that he wasn't like all the other politicians. Trump's "great wall" was a big concrete symbol of that.

Except that now it isn't even concrete. In recent weeks, he has been saying it will be made of "beautiful" steel slats. The way Trump has described the wall has changed a lot over time, to the point of contradiction. That includes how the wall will be paid for.

The call came Sunday afternoon.

"Can you come to the White House?"

I was still wearing running pants and had my hair up in a plastic scrunchy, but figured there wasn't time to change.

I was called to the office of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who had me leave my purse and cellphone outside before sitting down. This was sensitive.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET on Thursday

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq to visit U.S. troops on the day after Christmas, an unannounced trip about which the president nonetheless had been hinting for some time.

The Trumps' arrival at Al Asad Air Base followed the president's recent orders to pull back on U.S. troop deployments elsewhere — orders that have come under intense scrutiny.

On the second full day of the Trump presidency, all of the top White House aides gathered in the East Room to be sworn in by Vice President Pence. They raised their right hands and swore to defend the Constitution.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

In a testy Oval Office exchange with the two top congressional Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump made clear he would be "proud" to shut down the government in less than two weeks if he doesn't get funding for his border wall.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Just moments after Air Force One lifted off for Buenos Aires, Argentina — where President Trump was to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin — Trump canceled the meeting via tweet. He cited intensifying Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

Richard Nixon was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. Ronald Reagan got his political fuel from there. In a state increasingly dominated by coastal liberals, Orange County was a conservative bastion with an ocean view.

Even as Democrats came to dominate California politics, Orange County clung on as a Republican stronghold.

"Orange County was different," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political consultant based in Sacramento. "It was, as we called it, 'the orange curtain' and it has now fallen."

Updated Nov. 18 at 3:40 p.m. ET

President Trump often employs the power of positive thinking when it comes to his own shortcomings, choosing to promote the wins rather than wallow or search for lessons in the losses. And so it was with his claim of a "very close to complete victory" in Tuesday's election, even though Democrats took control of the House.

Updated at 11:48 a.m. ET

The list of prominent people, eight and counting, who were sent suspicious packages reads like a Trump enemies list, politicians and Trump critics who are often targeted in his rally speeches and tweets.

As President Trump came to the big finish at a recent rally, his supporters crowded into the Kansas Expocentre shouted along with his 2016 catchphrase. Voices bounced off the walls saying "we will make America great again" as the Rolling Stones swelled through the sound system.

First lady Melania Trump stood at the top of the airplane stairs in Accra, Ghana, smiled broadly and waving. Thus began the first stop of a multiday trip through the African continent that will take Trump to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt, "four beautiful and very different countries in Africa," she said in recent remarks. It is her first solo foreign trip as first lady.

Drinking beer became such a theme in last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that Saturday Night Live spoofed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's many references to drinking beer with his friends.

But there are serious questions underlying all the focus on beer: whether Kavanaugh was fully forthcoming in his testimony and what his behavior was like when drunk.

When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump's response? In short: Nothing to see here.

President Trump was bombarded with negative news cycles last month, so he turned to Twitter, venting frustrations and dismissing an increasingly wide variety of things he doesn't like as "fake" or "phony." Presidential tweets about "fake news" aren't new, but August was unique in the sheer frequency of such presidential declarations on Twitter. There were more tweets in August about things Trump labels fake and phony than in any other month of his presidency.

Emmet Flood, the lawyer inside the White House whose job it is to deal with the Russia investigation, is preparing for battle on ground where he is uniquely qualified to fight.

"He is a legal expert on all these issues about subpoenas, presidential privilege, Article II of the Constitution," said Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump's outside lawyers.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Editor's note: Parts of this story contain content that is sexually explicit.

Twenty years ago Friday, the long-running independent counsel Whitewater investigation had reached a crossroads, far from where it started, with prosecutors questioning President Bill Clinton about his relationship with a former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, who has become an outspoken critic of the president.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced the move on Wednesday following an earlier discussion about pulling the clearance held by Brennan and a group of other targets.

President Trump just gave Omarosa Manigault Newman the gift of another news cycle. Trump tweeted a scathing criticism of his former top-level aide just as her book-promoting media tour was gaining steam, all but guaranteeing the kind of made-for-cable feud that made them both reality TV stars and ultimately brought them to the White House.

Manigault Newman's book, Unhinged, is due out Tuesday.

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