Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

During a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to troops stationed in Afghanistan, President Trump said that his administration has reopened peace talks with the Taliban, nearly three months after he abruptly canceled them. Trump made the announcement at a rally staged at Bagram Airfield outside Kabul, where he exchanged handshakes and posed for photographs with U.S. troops.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

A foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence testified behind closed doors on Thursday in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to work on European and Russian issues with the vice president's team in the spring. She is the first person from the vice president's office to testify in the probe of whether the president withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor.

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

The impeachment inquiry into President Trump turned its spotlight on Monday on four top White House officials, asking them to testify behind closed doors as Democrats probe whether Trump held up military aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

But none of them showed up, citing legal advice.

Updated at 11:25 p.m. ET

Tim Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trump's National Security Council, who is scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry on Thursday, is set to leave his White House post imminently, three sources familiar with the plan told NPR.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

President Trump has told Republican allies in the Senate that he would like to nominate immigration hard-liner Ken Cuccinelli as his next Homeland Security secretary, but has said he does not believe Republican Senate leaders would back the choice, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia, has made enemies in his own party. He used to lead a group that raised money to challenge incumbent Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Ambassador William Taylor delivered an explosive opening statement to congressional investigators Tuesday.

Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, described a shadow foreign policy operation being led by President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani where U.S. aid to Ukraine was contingent on the country undertaking investigations that could help Trump in his campaign for reelection in 2020.

Updated at 10:02 p.m. ET

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is leaving his post, the latest casualty at the department responsible for protecting U.S. borders.

President Trump said in a tweet Friday night that McAleenan had done an "outstanding job" but that he wanted to "spend more time with family and go to the private sector."

Trump added that he would announce a new acting secretary next week.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

President Trump now says China should investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trump brought up China, just days before restarting trade talks with Beijing, while answering questions about his call with his Ukrainian counterpart and what specifically he hoped Ukraine would do about the Biden family.

The whistleblower complaint released Thursday charges that White House officials attempted to limit access to potentially damaging details about President Trump's call with Ukraine's president by using a classified system reserved for highly sensitive information.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Trump will return to the world's biggest stage this week to address heads of state at a time when U.S. global leadership is seen as waning.

When he takes the stage at the United Nations General Assembly for the third time on Tuesday, Trump is expected to "affirm America's leadership role" and "underscore that America is a positive alternative to authoritarianism," said a senior administration official.

Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET

President Trump's brand-new national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, will inherit a National Security Council struggling to attract talent, current and former U.S. officials tell NPR.

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

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ, BYLINE: Thank you.

: We heard from President Trump not long ago, and he had this to say.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: These are two incredible places. We love the people. Hate has no place in our country.

Enoch Orona is unsure when he'll be dispatched for his third tour of duty. But the Navy sailor's greatest fear is not combat — it's returning home to find that his mom isn't there.

Orona, 30, is paying close attention to the news, checking his phone often for any updates on immigration raids that President Trump announced could begin any day now. He can't help but imagine men with guns surrounding his parents' home in Virginia.

The Trump administration wants to scale back a program that protects undocumented family members of active-duty troops from being deported, according to attorneys familiar with those plans.

The attorneys are racing to submit applications for what is known as parole in place after hearing from the wives and loved ones of deployed soldiers who have been told that option is "being terminated."

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday that her own spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, will take over for Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary.

Updated at 7:22 p.m. ET

President Trump tweeted that talks with Mexican officials would continue Thursday, raising hopes they may be able to reach an agreement to avert potentially crippling tariffs on Mexican imports.

The possibility of a deal comes amid great pressure from the Mexican government and top Republican leaders who warned of potentially disastrous consequences.