Brandon Carter

Brandon Carter is an assistant producer on NPR's Washington Desk. He manages the NPR Politics social media accounts, writes and produces stories for the web and writes for the NPR Politics weekly newsletter.

Prior to joining NPR, he was a social media curator at The Hill and was previously an intern on NPR's social media desk during the 2016 presidential election. He graduated from Western Kentucky University and was editor-in-chief of its student newspaper, The College Heights Herald.

Carter is from the small town of Fulton, Ky., which was once known as the "Banana Capital of the World."

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

President Trump is set to deliver his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, less than a day before the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on two articles of impeachment against him.

While the scene on Capitol Hill has been tumultuous during the impeachment trial, a senior administration official told reporters last week that Trump's address would use "the great American comeback" as its theme and take an optimistic tone.

Here's what you need to know ahead of tonight's address.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted Thursday 232-196 to pass a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Just two Democrats voted no — Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

Amid the debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called it a "sad day."

Catherine Croft, a State Department employee who previously worked on Ukraine issues for the National Security Council, is testifying in the House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.

Croft is among the witnesses called to give depositions behind closed doors in the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration's Ukraine policy and President Trump's July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the 2020 race.

She announced her exit Wednesday afternoon in a video posted on Twitter.

"It's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country," Gillibrand said. "I believe I can best serve by helping to unite us to beat Donald Trump in 2020."

Gillibrand thanked her volunteers and supporters in the video, saying "I'm so proud of this campaign and everything we've achieved."

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

President Trump on Friday indicated that he supported new legislation on "intelligent" background checks for gun purchases after recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

"On background checks, we have tremendous support for really common-sense, sensible, important background checks," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The president said the issue "isn't a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat," and added that he had spoken with the head of the National Rifle Association.

Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET

President Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night. He's expected to deliver a bipartisan message themed around "choosing greatness," while outlining what the White House calls a "policy agenda both parties can rally behind."

Updated at 2:03 p.m. ET

The Democratic National Committee dramatically reduced the power and influence of "superdelegates" in selecting the party's presidential nominee at its summer meeting in Chicago on Saturday, ahead of what's expected to be a wide-open Democratic field in 2020.

DNC members voted on a proposal to take away the role of elected officials and other party dignitaries in selecting a nominee at the Democratic convention — leaving it up to delegates selected in primaries and caucuses only — unless the process becomes deadlocked.