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.

Updated 10:05 p.m. ET Friday

Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump's account over a pattern of behavior that violated company rules.

The action was the most sweeping punishment any major social media company has ever taken against Trump, who has used his Twitter account to announce White House policy, attack rivals and widely disseminate misinformation.

President Trump had a very public and direct message for his vice president on Wednesday morning ahead of the joint session of Congress at which Mike Pence is set to formally announce that President-elect Joe Biden won the Nov. 3 election.

Instead of Pence's plan to "follow the law and uphold the Constitution," Trump told him on Twitter that it was "a time for extreme courage" and urged him to overturn the results, something which Pence does not have the powers to do.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

For a vice president who has navigated service to a mercurial president with praise and public acts of loyalty, Vice President Pence faced the ultimate challenge on Wednesday as he presided over a joint session of Congress that will make official Joe Biden's election — and President Trump's loss.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Trump is throwing a big wrench into the massive COVID relief bill that Congress overwhelmingly passed last night. In a video this evening, he calls the bill a disgrace.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Gina McCarthy as his White House climate coordinator, a source familiar with the decision said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect private conversations.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former congressman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services, according to a source familiar with transition discussions who is not authorized to speak on the record.

Vice President Pence traveled to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday for a briefing, saying America is "in a season of hope" and "help is on the way" with emergency use authorization for the first coronavirus vaccine potentially less than two weeks away.

But what Pence heard from some of the nation's top public health officials was a grim assessment of the current state of the pandemic.

Before President-elect Joe Biden had even formally introduced his intended nominee for budget director, the pushback started rolling in.

Neera Tanden would make history as the first woman of color to head the Office of Management and Budget, but she's also been an outspoken partisan warrior, and that could complicate her confirmation process, especially if Republicans maintain control of the Senate after Georgia's two runoff races in January.

President Trump is set to visit Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday to mark Veterans Day and lay a wreath. Trump will be joined by Vice President Pence. This is one of the more traditional ceremonial duties of a president. (Trump was criticized for passing on such a visit two years ago in France because of bad weather).

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

The 2020 presidential election remained up in the air early Wednesday after tight races, strong turnout and record amounts of mail-in voting left millions of legitimate votes still to be counted, and races in six key states too close to call.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden urged patience until "every vote is counted," but President Trump railed against the extra time required to count the ballots, falsely accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election from him.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now let's turn to Ohio. It's a state that President Trump won easily in 2016, and it is in toss-up territory this year. The closure of an auto plant there is looming large. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith visited the site of the former plant.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

TONYA MOSLEY, HOST:

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The country was put on edge overnight as President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a stunning announcement that raises concerns about their health and throws the final stretch of the presidential campaign — already upended by the pandemic — even further into unknown territory.

The couple's 14-year-old son, Barron Trump, has tested negative for the virus, the first lady's chief of staff, Stephanie Grisham, told NPR.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

President Trump waded into the classroom today. He says he thinks American students need to be taught what he calls patriotic education, and he accused his political opponents of trying to brainwash children about racism.

President Trump signed an executive order Sunday that he says lowers prescription drug prices "by putting America first," but experts said the move is unlikely to have any immediate impact.

Dr. Scott Atlas has literally written the book on magnetic resonance imaging. He has also co-authored numerous scientific studies on the economics of medical imaging technology.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET Sunday

At his Bedminster, N.J., golf resort on Saturday, President Trump signed four executive actions to provide economic relief amid the coronavirus pandemic. The actions amount to a stopgap measure, after failing to secure an agreement with Congress.

The three memorandums and one executive order call for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments and deferring payroll taxes.

Two weeks after President Trump signed an executive order "Lowering Drug Prices By Putting America First," the White House still hasn't released the text of the order. The unorthodox move is apparently a leverage play, an attempt to squeeze drug companies into offering concessions, but so far there's little indication Trump is getting the deal he was after.

Trump had American flags and women in white lab coats behind him, his big presidential sharpie marker in hand when he signed the order July 24.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Ancient state unemployment systems that struggled to handle the first round of COVID-19 relief payments could take months or more to adopt a White House proposal for modifying the benefits, according to memos obtained by NPR.

Such a lag could mean that the roughly 30 million people currently collecting pandemic-related unemployment benefits would see their income drop from a weekly average of $900 to an average of $300 per week.

Updated at 9:59 p.m. ET

As the number of coronavirus cases started spiking again this month, the White House keyed in on a different number — one that paints a more rosy picture of the pandemic: the case fatality rate.

When asked about rising cases at a recent briefing, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany quickly parried. "We're seeing the fatality rate in this country come down," said McEnany. "That is a very good thing."

Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, said recent White House attacks on his record are backfiring, calling the episode "bizarre" in interviews with The Atlantic.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump once again questioned the expertise of his top public health officials Monday morning, retweeting a conspiracy theory from former game show host Chuck Woolery, who suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "Media, Democrats [and] our Doctors" are lying about COVID-19 in an effort to hurt Trump in November's general election.

President Trump, in a speech Friday at Mount Rushmore that lasted more than 40 minutes, focused on statues and "cancel culture" and accused his political opponents of fascism. But he spared just a few words for the pandemic that has killed 130,000 Americans, thanking "the doctors, nurses and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus." And that was it.

A day after defending his right to hold campaign events in the midst of spikes in coronavirus cases, Vice President Pence and the Trump campaign are postponing two events he was to headline next week in Florida and Arizona.

The states are two of the hardest hit in recent days, and health officials have encouraged people to avoid large in-person gatherings. The events have been postponed "out of an abundance of caution," two campaign officials told NPR.

It's a remarkable reversal for Pence, who on Friday forcefully defended his plan to move forward with the campaign events.

President Trump wants an arena full of tens of thousands of excited Republicans in Charlotte this summer for the party's national convention. But the coronavirus is causing a lot of uncertainty, and North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hasn't been able to make assurances that such a gathering will be possible in August.

President Trump has chosen a former pharmaceutical executive and a four star general to run Operation Warp Speed, an effort to speed up development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and get it to as many Americans as quickly as possible.

"I think we're going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and I think distribution will take place almost simultaneously because we've geared up the military," President Trump said as he prepared to board Marine One on Thursday afternoon. Experts have said the best case scenario for vaccine development would be 12 to 18 months.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

As President Trump attempts to project an image of America rising out of quarantine and beginning to reopen, he traveled on Tuesday to an Arizona factory that's expanded into production of N95 face masks to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the trip was in part meant to tell a positive story about the Trump administration's response, it also highlights the challenges of the moment.

When President Trump tapped Vice President Mike Pence to lead the coronavirus task force in late February, it was a moment of growing pressure. Stocks were tanking, and Trump needed to show he was elevating the federal response to the pandemic.

A former Trump White House aide says Pence was the obvious choice, one of the few people left in the administration that Trump trusts, and someone with the stature to coordinate across agencies.

Updated Sept. 10

Editor's Note: This timeline has been updated to include comments President Trump made in newly released interviews with journalist Bob Woodward.

President Trump has delivered an ever-evolving message to the American public about the coronavirus pandemic.

Pages