Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

Montanaro joined NPR in 2015 and oversaw coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, including for broadcast and digital.

Before joining NPR, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and taught high school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a life-long Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

More Americans disapprove than approve of President Trump's handling of the situation with Iran, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll. But they are split along party lines, and the results largely reflect the president's approval rating.

By a 49%-42% margin, Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of Iran. Usual splits emerge, with roughly 9 in 10 Republicans approving, more than 8 in 10 Democrats disapproving and about half of independents disapproving.

There are now no more official debates before Democrats begin voting.

Tuesday night's debate was the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, and it featured six of the 12 remaining candidates — the top four of whom polls show to be neck and neck.

Democratic primary voters got a substantive debate in which the candidates clashed over what it means to be commander in chief, gender politics and, of course, health care.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday night's debate:

An overarching and important theme of 2019 was the shifting power dynamic in Washington. The 2018 midterm elections put Democrats in control of the House of Representatives after eight years of Republican control — and made Nancy Pelosi House speaker for the second time in her career.

That had consequences, including the use of the ultimate check on presidential authority, impeachment.

Listen to The NPR Politics Podcast here.

The impeachment of President Trump has dominated the news this week. But the political focus shifted to the Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night for their sixth debate, this one in Los Angeles and hosted by the PBS NewsHour and Politico.

Updated at 11:38 p.m. ET

Planned votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump were delayed late Thursday night by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He asked members to consider how they want to vote and to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ranking minority member Rep. Doug Collins and others protested that Nadler had upset the committee's plans without consulting them.

The Judiciary Committee had sparred for more than 12 hours Thursday ahead of expected votes.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination took to the debate stage for the fifth time Wednesday night. There weren't any groundbreaking or game-changing moments, but here are five things that stood out:

1. Impeachment hearings may have taken some steam out of the debate

Let's face it: The biggest story of Wednesday was not the debate, it was the impeachment testimony of Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

The country is witnessing one of only a handful of times in its history that Congress has gone through with public hearings on whether to impeach a president. And yet, the overwhelming majority of Americans across parties say nothing they hear in the inquiry will change their minds on impeachment, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Two witnesses seen as crucial to the case against President Trump in the impeachment inquiry testified Wednesday.

Much of what was said by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and George Kent, the State Department's top official on Ukraine policy, was previously known from their lengthy depositions released last week.

But there were some new things — and several moments that stood out. Here are seven:

1. A new detail from a new witness emerges

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

CNN can be dramatic when it comes to hosting Democratic presidential debates. We saw a bit of that back in July in Michigan.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The fourth Democratic debate was a long one, about three hours, and ended after 11 p.m. ET.

You might not have made it through the whole thing, but there were some potentially consequential moments.

Here are six takeaways:

1. The scrutiny came for Warren, and her vulnerabilities were exposed some

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was under fire Tuesday night from several opponents, and when that happens to a candidate, you know they're a front-runner.

Updated 9:50 a.m. ET

The Trump administration has blocked Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, from testifying before Congress on Tuesday.

Sondland has been a key figure in the widening Ukraine scandal involving the president, members of his Cabinet and high-ranking diplomats.

Well, that escalated quickly.

At the beginning of this week, it wasn't at all clear that the country was heading toward another impeachment investigation, 21 years after Republicans filed articles of impeachment against Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Updated at 7:48 p.m. ET

After months of expressing caution on a push for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump Tuesday.

"The president must be held accountable," Pelosi said. "No one is above the law."

The landmark move comes after controversy over a phone call Trump had with the newly elected Ukrainian leader in July and reporting that the president pressured him to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

There are renewed calls for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to be impeached, after an essay in the New York Times, excerpting a book by Times reporters, was published this weekend.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Heading into Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, the third this campaign season, we had five political questions.

Here are those questions and how they got answered:

There are now less than five months to go before the first votes are cast in the Democratic presidential nominating contest. So the spotlight is going to be even hotter on the 10 candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate in Houston. (Follow NPR's live analysis here.)

Labor Day has long been an unofficial start to election season. So far, two rounds of Democratic debates, and two fundraising deadlines have revealed a lot about where the Democratic primary stands.

President Trump doubled down Wednesday on his remarks that American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal to Israel.

"In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel," Trump told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, "and only weak people would say anything other than that."

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a lot on the line. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has been promising attacks on Biden's racial justice record, and Biden is promising to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate. Night 1 also drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage.

The Democratic presidential candidates take the stage for the second round of debates Tuesday and Wednesday in Detroit. A lot is on the line for the candidates, who have been engaged in back-and-forths over race and health care coming into this round of debates.

On Tuesday, progressives Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren face off for the first time in this campaign. And several other candidates will be scrambling for a breakout night to get back on voters' minds.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential candidates are proposing lots of progressive policies in this election. And while those policies may resonate with the party base, some of those ideas are not popular with a general election electorate, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

President Trump will nominate Eugene Scalia, son of late Justice Antonin Scalia, to be the next labor secretary, the president announced via Twitter Thursday evening.

A source close to Scalia earlier Thursday confirmed to NPR that the president had offered Scalia the job and that he accepted.

Scalia, 55, is a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., where he handles cases related to labor and employment.

Supreme Court Takes Up DACA Appeal

Jun 28, 2019

The fates of almost 1 million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, are now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted an appeal to the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Obama-era program to protect DREAMers will get a one-hour hearing before the high court next term. The court said it would consolidate three appeals into one argument.

When Sen. Kamala Harris of California launched her presidential campaign in January and drew a crowd of 20,000 in Oakland, Calif., she raised some eyebrows about the potential for her candidacy.

But during the early stretch of this Democratic primary campaign, Harris struggled to catch on or stand apart — until Thursday night.

Updated 7:45 p.m. ET

In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court ruled that partisan redistricting is a political question — not reviewable by federal courts — and that those courts can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the Constitution.

The ruling puts the onus on the legislative branch, and on individual states, to police redistricting efforts.

If the overarching question heading into the first debate of the 2020 presidential primary for Democratic voters was "Who can you see as president up there?" it's not certain they got a clear answer.

Rather than fireworks — toward each other or President Trump — the candidates took a cautious approach. Will that be the approach on Night 2, Thursday night, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden on the same stage?

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday night's debate:

1. Elizabeth Warren was consistent.

For millions of Americans, this week's debates will be their introduction to many of the almost two dozen Democrats running for president, vying for the chance to try to unseat President Trump next year.

Twenty of the candidates will debate over two nights — Wednesday and Thursday — in Miami on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. Some lesser-known candidates will be hoping for a boost, and those who are better-known have pressure on them to perform.

Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

After two years of silence, special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke for 10 minutes Wednesday morning.

By the end, he had resigned and handed his caseload to Congress.

The man who headed the sweeping investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the Trump campaign's role and the actions of now-President Trump himself took no questions. He said he hoped this was the last he would have to say about it.

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