Jessica Taylor

Jessica Taylor is the lead digital political reporter for NPR. Based in Washington, D.C., she covers the 2016 elections and national politics for NPR digital.

Before joining NPR in May 2015, Taylor was the campaign editor for The Hill newspaper where she oversaw the newspaper's 2014 midterm coverage, managed a team of political reporters and wrote her own biweekly column.

Prior to The Hill, Taylor was a writer and producer for MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd" and a contributor to the NBC News Political Unit. She covered and reported on the 2012 election as a senior analyst for The Rothenberg Gonzales Political Report. Her quotes have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as several state and regional newspapers across the country. Taylor has also appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN and other local network affiliates.

On Election Night 2012, Jessica served as an off-air analyst for CBS News in New York, advising producers and reporters on House and Senate races.

Previously, Jessica was editor of National Journal's "House Race Hotline" and Assistant Editor for POLITICO during the 2010 midterms. She began her career in Washington as the research director for The Almanac of American Politics.

A native of Elizabethton, Tenn., she is a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, S.C. and now lives in Alexandria, Va.

President Trump told Russian officials last week that he had fired the "nut job" FBI Director James Comey to ease the pressure of the mounting investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia, according to a report from The New York Times.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the growing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to associates of President Trump.

"In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Updated at 9:22 p.m. ET

The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

Updated at 9:45 p.m.

Former first lady Michelle Obama might find some of the latest actions by the Trump administration pretty difficult to stomach.

On Monday newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a rollback of school lunch standards championed by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would "Make School Meals Great Again."

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

Steve Bannon has been removed from his controversial role on the National Security Council just months after he was elevated to the position.

President Trump's chief strategist will no longer be a regular attendee of the principals committee of the NSC, but he will retain his role as senior adviser for domestic affairs.

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

At his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Neil Gorsuch pitched himself as a reasonable jurist who would do his best to uphold the rule of law without any bias.

"Sitting here, I am acutely aware of my own imperfections," the federal appeals court judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. "But I pledge to each of you and to the American people that, if confirmed, I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of our great nation."

Updated at 10:45 p.m.

President Trump blasted a federal judge's decision to temporarily halt his revised travel ban on Wednesday night, telling a campaign rally in Nashville, Tenn., that he wished he had stood his ground and fought for his original, much stricter executive order.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

President Trump pushed the reset button after a rocky first month in office, delivering an on-message joint address to Congress that outlined his vision for America.

"I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart," Trump said at the outset, declaring that "the torch of truth, liberty and justice ... is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world."

The Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator.

The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted "present" on his own nomination.

It's only the second week of the Trump administration, but there has been a continued tension with facts. In his first week, the president boasted about his inaugural crowds and doubled down on false claims that there were millions of illegal voters who swayed the results of the popular vote.

President Trump's first two weeks in office have been a sprint, not the start of a marathon. If the rapid pace and, sometimes, hourly developments of executive orders, news, controversies and more have left you exhausted, you're not alone. If you're finding it hard to remember just everything that's transpired too, we're here for that as well.

Here's a quick recap of the highlights — and lowlights — of the first 14 days of Trump's nascent presidency.

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:45 p.m. ET

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

President Obama reflected on the achievements of his eight years in the White House on Tuesday night, telling supporters in his hometown of Chicago that they were instrumental in helping him boost the nation's economy, create his signature health care reform law and extend equal rights to more Americans:

Updated Dec. 15, 11:30 a.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to be his interior secretary, the transition team announced Thursday morning.

Zinke is a first-term congressman and a former Navy SEAL commander who served in Iraq and was awarded two Bronze Stars. He was re-elected to a second term last month with 56 percent of the vote.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor, his transition team announced Thursday.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, and in a statement Trump praised him as someone who "has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans."

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in his incoming administration.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement released Monday. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities."

At his first news conference following his party's shocking loss at the ballot box last week, President Obama appeared to needle Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign for not paying enough attention to rural voters who eventually handed President-elect Donald Trump the upset victory.

"When your team loses, everybody gets deflated, and it's hard, and it's challenging," Obama said. "I think it's a healthy thing for the Democratic Party to go through some reflection."

Editor's note: This post contains language that is crude and explicit and that many will find offensive.

Updated 11:15 p.m. ET with comments by Trump supporters

Just two days before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to meet for their second presidential debate, more damaging audio of the GOP nominee using crude language about women and how he would hit on them has surfaced.

Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine met Tuesday evening for the only vice presidential debate of 2016. Many expected the 90-minute face-off at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., to be a cordial affair, and it largely was, but each came armed with plenty of barbs to throw at the other.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's choice for her vice president, giving her a running mate with experience at all levels of government to round out the Democratic ticket.

Clinton told supporters the news in a text message and a tweet on Friday evening just after 8 p.m. ET. According to a Clinton campaign official, the former secretary of state called Kaine this evening to make the formal offer.

The Indiana voters shook up the presidential race Tuesday night, with Ted Cruz ending his campaign after a disappointing loss to now-likely GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders also bounced back after a string of primary losses with a surprise win over Hillary Clinton. But the Democrat's 5-point win still won't be enough to close the yawning gap between the two.

Cruz exit clears the way for likely Trump nomination

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton notched important wins in their respective presidential primaries in their home state of New York on Tuesday night, helping both in their efforts to clinch their party's White House nomination.

In the Republican race, the billionaire real estate mogul sealed a massive victory over his two remaining rivals, sweeping at least 89 of the 95 delegates up for grabs.

The Associated Press reports:

Donald Trump is now the only Republican candidate with any chance of clinching the nomination before the convention.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

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