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The NPR Politics Podcast

The NPR Politics Podcast

Every weekday, NPR's best political reporters are there to explain the big news coming out of Washington and the campaign trail. They don't just tell you what happened. They tell you why it matters. Every afternoon.

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Episodes

Young People Drive Coronavirus Surge

The US is now regularly seeing days with more than 50,000 new cases of the coronavirus, up from the previous peak of 30 thousand a day in April. Florida is among the states hardest hit by the uptick.

Listen to our playlist The NPR Politics Daily Workout.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, congressional reporter Kelsey Snell, science correspondent Allison Aubrey, and national correspondent Greg Allen.

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2020-07-07
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President Revives "American Carnage" Message

In a speech Friday at Mount Rushmore, President Trump returned to the divisive "law and order" rhetoric and white identity politics that fueled his 2016 campaign. That's despite signs that the message is not as resonant this election cycle.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and White House reporters Ayesha Rascoe and Franco Ordoñez.

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2020-07-06
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How Black Americans Experience Patriotism

The U.S. is experiencing a reckoning over the fact that the promises of America are not fulfilled equally. Black Americans share how they experience patriotism ahead of the July Fourth celebration.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and political reporter Juana Summers.

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2020-07-03
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US Added Jobs In June??But Now The Pandemic Is Getting Worse

The unemployment rate fell to 11.1%. But there are indications that the job growth has slowed recently amid a surge of new coronavirus infections.

Follow our playlist, The NPR Politics Daily Workout.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, and White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe.

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2020-07-02
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Trump Remakes Federal Judiciary In His Image

In June, the Senate confirmed President Trump's 200th judge to the bench. With a dearth of legislative achievements to point to, reshaping the federal judiciary could be the president's most durable legacy.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson, and senior political editor and correspondent Ron Elving.

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2020-07-01
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Trump's Disapproval Climbs Alongside US Coronavirus Cases

Amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases, the number of voters disapproving of the job President Trump is doing is at an all-time high, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. Joe Biden is using the pandemic to attack the president. And despite a narrow loss in the Kentucky Senate primary, the progressive wing of the Democratic party is amassing power in the halls of Congress.

This episode: White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-06-30
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Supreme Court Overturns Restrictions On Abortion Access

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberals, citing the Supreme Court's adherence to precedent, to invalidate a Louisiana law that required doctors at clinics that perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Plus, lawmakers in both parties are asking for more information after press reports suggested that Russian operatives have paid Afghan insurgents to target U.S. forces.

This episode: congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell correspondent Sarah McCammon, national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson, election security editor Phil Ewing, and White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

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2020-06-29
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Weekly Roundup: June 26th, 2020

At the first coronavirus taskforce briefing in months, Vice President Mike Pence reiterated that the White House was there to support states in their response to the pandemic and touted the administration's response so far despite the country's high death toll. And Attorney General William Barr talks to NPR about the pile of controversies facing the Department of Justice.

This episode: White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-06-26
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Congress Probably Won't Agree On Police Reform

A day after Democrats blocked a Republican proposal in the Senate, they are set to pass a reform plan of their own in the House. Lawmakers appear pessimistic about the chances of compromise legislation.

This episode: White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell.

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2020-06-25
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U.S. Coronavirus Cases Holding Steady

The United States isn't experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus?because the first wave never ended. While original hotspots of the outbreak, like New York and New Jersey, have seen declines, population centers in the south, including Texas, are seeing record numbers of cases. White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci testified about the pandemic yesterday on Capitol Hill.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, science correspondent Richard Harris, and KUT reporter Asley Lopez.

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2020-06-24
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Who Will Kentucky Pick To Face Mitch McConnell?

Closely-watched congressional primaries in New York and Kentucky will test how well progressives fare in two very different parts of the country.

And reporting from a Michigan suburb on how folks there view the racial justice protests and the president's response to the pandemic.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, Kentucky Public Radio reporter Ryland Barton, and campaign correspondent Asma Khalid.

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2020-06-23
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Trump Fires Lawyer Who Prosecuted His Allies

President Trump has removed a top Justice Department official, Geoffrey Berman, whose office has overseen the prosecutions of several of the president's associates.

And the president's Saturday rally was a return to form for Trump, but fell short of expectations set by his campaign.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-06-22
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Weekly Roundup: June 19th, 2020

In Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, President Trump will hold his first campaign rally since the coronavirus pandemic seized the United States. The top public health official there said he hoped it would be delayed and the campaign agreed to limited public health precautions.

And, new allegations from a former national security adviser draw White House ire.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-06-19
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In 5-4 Decision, Supreme Court Lets DACA Stand

The Supreme Court has extended a life-support line to some 650,000 so-called "Dreamers" on Thursday, allowing them to remain safe from deportation. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the decision was not about the Trump administration's authority to end the program, but rather about its "arbitrary" justification.

This episode: political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-06-18
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NPR Analysis: Biden Has Early Edge On 2020 Political Map

President Trump is in a political hole and has a lot of ground to make up over the next five months if he hopes to win another term, an NPR analysis of the Electoral College map finds.

Read the analysis.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-06-17
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What Trump's Policing Order Does (And Doesn't) Do

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training ? a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against people of color.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and congressional reporter Claudia Grisales.

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2020-06-16
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Supreme Court: LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Is Illegal

The vote was 6-3 with conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch joining the court's four liberal justices in the majority. "In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee," the court held in Monday's decision. "We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."

In this episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and national Justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-06-15
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It's Been a Minute: 'Not Just Another Protest'

There is so much to unpack in this current moment. Sam has a candid conversation with Aunt Betty about how history has shaped her view of the current protests, and he walks around downtown Los Angeles to get the perspective of people he meets. Sam also talks to BuzzFeed News reporter Melissa Segura on her recent reporting about police unions and what they mean for reform, and Morning Edition executive producer Kenya Young about being a black parent during this time and the 'talk' she has to give her sons.

NPR has curated a podcast playlist to amplify conversations about law enforcement, racial injustice, and the black American experience. You can stream this playlist via Spotify and NPR One.

'It's Been a Minute' is produced by Jinae West, Anjuli Sastry, Andrea Gutierrez and Hafsa Fathima. Our editor is Jordana Hochman. Our intern is Hafsa Fathima. Our director of programming is Steve Nelson. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin.
2020-06-14
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The Ground Is Shifting In Trump's Culture War

President Trump and his campaign are sticking to culture war messaging even as some congressional Republicans cede ground on police reform as an increasing majority of Americans voice their support for the protests.

This episode: campaign correspondents Asma Khalid and Scott Detrow, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and senior political editor and correspondent Ron Elving.

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2020-06-12
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The End Of Police In Minneapolis

After one of the city's police officers killed George Floyd, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis city council has pledged to disband the city's police force. What comes next could take years to figure out.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, reporter Adrian Florido, and national justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-06-11
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"Is that what a black man's worth? Twenty dollars?"

Philonise Floyd, whose brother was killed by Minneapolis police, testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The hearing, tied to House Democrats' police reform proposal, took place as Republican reform efforts in the Senate began to take shape.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and National Justice correspondent Carrie Johnson.

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2020-06-10
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President Trump Denies Systemic Racism In Policing. Most Americans Disagree.

As Joe Biden's campaign touted his plans for police reform, President Trump denied that there is a systemic problem with American policing; according to polls, a large majority of Americans disagree.

And Republicans have controlled Georgia politics for nearly two decades. Tuesday's primary in the state could be the beginning of a shift in power.

This episode: campaign correspondents Asma Khalid and Scott Detrow, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and WABE reporter Emma Hurt.

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2020-06-09
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Democrats Want To Reform, Not Defund, Police

Congressional Democrats on Monday unveiled the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which aims to install wide-ranging reforms for police departments across the country. It faces Republican opposition. Responding to a mantra of nationwide anti-racism protests, Joe Biden's campaign announced he doesn't support defunding police departments. Reform activists say their ask is more nuanced than that.

In this episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell.

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2020-06-08
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Weekly Roundup: June 5th, 2020

As the country erupts in protests over police brutality and racism, two-thirds of Americans think President Trump has increased racial tensions. That poll comes as news that 2.5 million American jobs were added in May as Trump encourages the country to reopen.

Plus, a look at the type of leadership Americans want in this moment.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and editor & correspondent Ron Elving.

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2020-06-05
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View from the Ground At Washington DC Protests; Misinformation Spreads Online

Since the White House has increased its military in the nation's capital, more protesters are gathering by the day. The protests continue to remain largely peaceful despite the Trump administration's focus on violence.

Plus, misinformation is spreading quickly as more people are turning to social media to understand what's happening on the ground.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, political reporter Alan Wise, political reporter Miles Parks, and investigations reporter Tim Mak.

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2020-06-04
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Congress Searches For How To Respond To Calls From Protesters

Despite curfews imposed across the country, protesters continue to gather to demand action after the death of George Floyd. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on the the Congressional Black Caucus to draft legislation while President Trump continues to focus on quelling the protests.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell.

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2020-06-03
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'He Thinks Division Helps Him': Biden Condemns Trump's Protest Response

Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned both police violence and President Trump's increasingly confrontational response to widespread unrest in a Tuesday morning speech delivered at Philadelphia City Hall.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, campaign reporter Juana Summers, and senior political ediotr and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-06-02
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Trump Threatens To Deploy Military To States If They Don't Stop Violent Protests

Escalating his rhetoric during a period of roiling national crises, President Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the U.S. military to cities or states that don't take "necessary" actions to halt violent protests, saying the armed forces will "quickly solve the problem for them."

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-06-02
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Trump Encourages Governors To 'Dominate' Protesters, Blames Democrats For Unrest

President Trump on Monday called governors weak and urged them to "dominate" to prevent further violent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.

Plus former Vice President Joe Biden meets with black leaders and is encouraged to listen to younger African-Americans.

This episode: campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-06-01
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Weekly Roundup: May 29th, 2020

President Trump responded to violent protests days after the killing of a black man. He said he will send in the National Guard, adding: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Joe Biden called on the nation to better empathize with the pain of black Americans in the wake of the death of the black man by a white police officer.

Plus, the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic reaches a 100,000 milestone.

This episode: Congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, campaign correspondent Scott Detrow, and science correspondent Richard Harris.

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2020-05-29
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The Death Of George Floyd Sparks Outrage From Both Sides Of The Aisle

The Justice Department says it has made the investigation into George Floyd's death "a top priority," after furor over a video depicting a white police officer kneeling on his neck spilled over into widespread protests for a second night.

Both Democrats and Republicans called Floyd's death a tragedy. But what action could come from it?

This episode: Congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and justice correspondent Ryan Lucas.

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2020-05-28
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Twitter Adds Warning To Trump's Tweets As He Spreads Misinformation

Twitter has placed a fact-checking warning on a pair of tweets issued by President Trump in which he claims without evidence that mail-in ballots are fraudulent. The label comes in the middle of a series of tweets from the president touting a conspiracy theory.

This episode: Congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and political reporter Miles Parks.

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2020-05-27
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Trump Threatens To Move The Republican National Convention

President Trump has threatened to relocate the Republican National Convention, which has been scheduled to take place in Charlotte, N.C., in August. He is objecting to the governor's safety measures.

Meanwhile Democrats weigh options for how they may host their own convention.

This episode: Congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and political reporter Juana Summers.

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2020-05-26
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Republicans And Democrats Battle Over The Future Of Voting

The coronavirus has reshaped how voting may happen for the 2020 elections, and Democrats and Republicans are battling in courts across the country trying to get the upper hand in November. But because the landscape has changed so quickly, neither party is sure what exactly gives them an advantage.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, political reporter Miles Parks, and correspondent Pam Fessler.

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2020-05-25
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Weekly Roundup: May 22nd, 2020

In an at-times tense exchange on the radio show Breakfast Club, former Vice President Joe Biden said, "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black." The comments drew widespread criticism.

Plus, China moves to exert more control over Hong Kong causing more tension with the United States.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, reporter Juana Summers, editor & correspondent Ron Elving, Congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and chief economic correspondent Scott Horsley.

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2020-05-22
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Trump And Biden Wage An Uneven Virtual Campaign

The president with a major social media presence is facing a Democratic challenger with fewer digital resources. Biden's strategy counts on real-world conditions overcoming Trump's virtual dominance.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and campaign correspondent Asma Khalid.

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2020-05-21
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Democrats Think Prioritizing Health Care Will Give Them Wins In 2020

Hoping to build on the party's success in 2018, the Democratic Party will take aim at federal challengers who want to repeal Obamacare and state candidates who resist Medicare expansion.

Plus, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds that two-thirds of Americans do not expect their daily lives to return to normal for at least six months.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, and senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro.

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2020-05-20
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Senators Clash Over How Soon To Reopen The Economy

Members of the Senate Banking Committee squabbled Tuesday over how quickly the U.S. economy can rebound from the coronavirus shutdown and whether the federal government is doing enough to support struggling families and businesses in the meantime.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional reporter Claudia Grisales, and chief economic correspondent Scott Horsley.
2020-05-19
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Democrats Launch Probe Into Trump's Firing Of State Department Inspector General

Congressional Democrats announced Saturday they're requesting all records and documents regarding President Trump's decision to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, the fourth government watchdog Trump has fired or sought to remove in the last six weeks.

Plus, former President Obama addresses 2020 graduates and says the United States lacks the leadership to fight the pandemic.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-05-18
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Weekly Roundup: May 15th, 2020

In this week's roundup: Senator Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, had his cell phone seized by the FBI as they investigate his stock trades in the weeks before the coronavirus pandemic gathered steam in the U.S.

And, what will the Supreme Court say about the limits on a president's ability to forestall investigations into his conduct?

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, Justice Department correspondent Ryan Lucas, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and chief legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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2020-05-15
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Ousted Scientist Warns Government Response Risks American Lives

Career government scientist Rick Bright testified that he was pushed out as the head of a government medical research agency after pushing back against higher-ups over an under-researched coronavirus treatment touted by the president. Bright says raised alarms about critical supply shortages early on in the pandemic.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, science correspondent Allison Aubrey.

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2020-05-14
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House Democrats Push For Money For States In New Relief Bill

House Democrats plan to move forward with a $3 trillion bill for additional coronavirus relief, following up on the historic $2 trillion aid package passed in March. It prioritizes granting hazard pay to front-line workers and providing aid to state and local governments, which had not been allotted in previous bills. It is seen as an opening salvo in a long series of negotiations on the next relief package.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional editor Deirdre Walsh, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-05-13
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Nation's Top Health Officials Testify

Public health needs continue to stymie lawmakers' hopes for an immediate economic reopening. The nation's top health experts appeared ? virtually ? before a Senate committee today and provided updates on coronavirus testing and the state of the outbreak.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, White House correspondent Ayesha Rascoe, and science correspondent Richard Harris.

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2020-05-12
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Fauci In "Modified Quarantine"; CA Special Election Has Lessons For November

After coming into contact with a White House staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus, Anthony Fauci and two other top officials from the White House taskforce are self-quarantining.

And the special election in California's 25th congressional district illustrates the challenges social distancing will pose to congressional campaigns ahead of the general election.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Franco Ordoñez, and KPCC reporter Libby Denkmann.

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2020-05-11
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Weekly Roundup: May 8th, 2020

After months of wrangling following the Russia probe, prosecutors will not go ahead with the case against Michael Flynn based on the former national security adviser's false statements to the FBI. And U.S. employers shed a record number of jobs in April, as the unemployment rate climbed to the highest since the Great Depression.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, political reporter Danielle Kurtzleben, justice correspondent Ryan Lucas, and national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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2020-05-08
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Supreme Court Firsts: Teleconferences, Livestreams, And A Toilet Flush

The Supreme Court resumed oral arguments this week after a lengthy hiatus because of the pandemic. The high court heard arguments via teleconference, a process that was (mostly) without hiccups. Remote arguments continue next week.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, congressional correspondent Kelsey Snell, and chief legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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2020-05-07
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Partisan Divide: Michigan, Texas Take Differing Approaches To Reopening

As new confirmed cases decline in the state, Michigan has extended its stay-at-home order until May 15th. Texas is moving quickly toward reopening, and while the state's outbreak is comparatively less severe, it isn't tapering off. That has led some public health experts to worry that lifting restrictions could mean a spike in cases.

This episode: campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, WKAR reporter Abigail Censky, KUT reporter Ashley Lopez.

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2020-05-06
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Trump Visits Mask Factory In Arizona, A 2020 Battleground

In his first major trip during the outbreak, President Trump is in Arizona Tuesday touring a mask factory. The state is an important 2020 battleground, with a closely-watched Senate race that could be a boon for Joe Biden.

This episode: White House correspondent Tamara Keith, and national political correspondents Mara Liasson and Don Gonyea.

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2020-05-05
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Hill Leaders Turn Down Additional Tests For Lawmakers

The top lawmakers on Capitol Hill, both up for reelection this year, denied the administration's offer of more testing for lawmakers. Many Americans remain concerned about the availability of testing in the United States.

And exclusive NPR reporting sheds light on what the president was told in January coronavirus briefings.

This episode: White House correspondents Tamara Keith and Ayesha Rascoe, and ongressional correspondent Susan Davis.

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2020-05-04
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Weekly Roundup: May 1st, 2020

Note: This podcast contains a frank discussion of an alleged sexual assault.

In an appearance on MSNBC Friday morning, Joe Biden denied sexually assaulting a former staffer. And the Senate returns to Washington on Monday; Mitch McConnell plans to move forward on judicial confirmations.

This episode: congressional correspondent Susan Davis, White House correspondent Scott Detrow, campaign correspondent Asma Khalid, and congressional reporter Claudia Grisales.

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2020-05-01
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