Jessica Taylor | KERA News

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.

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.

For years, parents have been warning their college-age children to be careful what they post on social media.

Now, one young candidate is learning this important lesson the hard way — everything you post can and will be used against you in politics.

President Trump's joint address to Congress on Tuesday night is expected to strike an optimistic tone as he outlines how he plans to begin a "renewal of the American spirit" with his economic goals and priorities.

President Trump skipped the annual Conservative Political Action Conference last year, but this year he was the annual gathering's hero who had finally returned the White House to Republicans.

Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to make the case that despite seeming like a political odd couple, the two represent the successful marriage of disparate wings of the Republican Party, united under President Trump.

Republican members of Congress aren't exactly getting a warm welcome in their home districts during this week's recess.

Republicans know the scene well: angry constituents flood local town halls, upset over health care and other congressional issues.

It's that energy that exploded eight years ago, birthing the Tea Party movement and helping the GOP take back Congress in the 2010 election. But now, they're finding themselves on the receiving end instead of the giving end.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that President Trump asked for Michael Flynn's resignation on Monday night, citing an "evolving and eroding level of trust" with his national security adviser.

The account differs from the impression the White House gave initially, framing it as Flynn's decision to step down amid questions about whether he inappropriately talked about U.S. sanctions with a Russian official and then subsequently misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about those conversations.

The Trump administration continued to play loose with facts in week three.

President Trump took aim at one of his favorite targets — the media — accusing them of not reporting terrorist attacks. The very list of attacks the White House released hours later contradicted those claims.

Trump again cited incorrect statistics on the country's murder rate, though a day later he did use the right numbers.

Press secretary Sean Spicer had his own "Bowling Green massacre" moment when he referred multiple times to a terrorist attack in Atlanta that never happened.

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.

Senate Democrats held an all-night session Monday night into Tuesday morning in a last-ditch effort to try to stop President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, from being confirmed.

Among those who took to the floor was Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said it was "difficult to imagine a worse choice to head the Department of Education."

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.

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.

Former President Barack Obama has criticized President Trump's immigration and travel ban issued on Friday, saying through a spokesman that he is "heartened by the level of engagement" over the weekend in opposition to the action.

Less than 24 hours after White House press secretary Sean Spicer had spouted numerous falsehoods about inauguration crowd size and more, Kellyanne Conway went on NBC's Meet the Press to defend him.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., tried to test whether President Trump's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget believed in facts or "alternative facts" during a confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

With the incoming Trump administration repeating falsehoods about the size of crowds at the president's inauguration, Merkley asked Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to look at two side-by-side photos — taken at roughly the same time during former President Obama's inauguration in 2009 and Trump's just last week — to gauge which, in fact, was bigger.

On his first full day in the White House, President Trump went to the CIA presumably to try and offer an olive branch to members of the intelligence community he often maligned over their conclusions that Russia had conspired to influence the U.S. elections.

Instead, he falsely denied that he had ever criticized the agency, falsely inflated the crowd size at his inauguration on Friday, attacked the media and told intelligence officers gathered to, "Trust me. I'm like a smart person."

President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Karen Pence continued a long inaugural tradition Saturday morning, attending a prayer service that was notable for the diversity of faith participants.

President Obama's final press conference was one of both reflection and subtle rebuke toward incoming President-elect Donald Trump, defending voting rights and a free press, all while reassuring the American people that "at my core, I think we're going to be OK."

The final few days before President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office will be filled with a flurry of congressional activity, as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for eight more of his Cabinet nominees.

Most are expected to be fairly routine, but a few could be hot-button affairs, including hearings for Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Donald Trump lashed out at civil rights hero John Lewis on Twitter Saturday morning, a day after the Georgia Democratic congressman said in an interview he didn't view the president-elect as "legitimate" amid questions of Russia's interference in the U.S. elections.

President Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday afternoon.

Calling the former longtime Delaware senator "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," Obama gave his White House partner the surprise award in an emotional ceremony, initially billed as a farewell.

The week before Donald Trump takes the oath of office will set the stage for his entry into the Oval Office. Not only will at least nine of his Cabinet nominees begin their Senate confirmation hearings, but the president-elect himself will face reporters at a long-awaited press conference, where he may address how he plans to separate his business interests from his presidency.

On top of that, President Obama steps into the spotlight one last time, on Tuesday evening in Chicago, for a farewell address in which he's likely to frame his legacy.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

The Office of Government Ethics is raising alarm over the pace of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's nominees, saying Saturday that they have yet to receive required financial disclosures for some picks set to come before Congress next week.

As the 115th Congress is sworn in Tuesday, Republicans will be poised to control Washington with a stronger hand than they have in a decade — with the Senate, House and the White House in GOP control once President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

This past November, Republicans held their congressional losses to a minimum, helped by an unexpectedly strong GOP wave behind Trump. After losing just two Senate seats, they'll hold a 52-48 edge (two independents caucus with Democrats). In the House, Republicans lost six seats, giving them a 241-194 majority.

President-elect Donald Trump has used Twitter — his preferred means of communication — to weigh in on a swath of foreign policy issues over the past few weeks.

Some politicians seem to have nine lives, constantly evading scandal and overcoming the odds. But this past year, now-President-elect Donald Trump may have had more than that.

Many things he did would have been the death knell for any other candidate's political hopes — mocking a disabled reporter, bragging about groping, disparaging a Gold Star family and even boasting about his manhood during a national debate.

President-elect Donald Trump is lashing out in defense of his charitable foundation as he prepares to shutter it before taking the oath of office next month.

And in doing so, Trump incorrectly stated the charitable reach of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

In a series of tweets Monday evening, Trump said he had given millions to the foundation he began in 1987 and that all of the money raised went to "wonderful charities."

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