Ayesha Rascoe

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House reporter for NPR.

Prior to joining NPR, she covered the White House for Reuters, chronicling President Barack Obama's final year in office and the beginning days of the Trump administration. Rascoe began her reporting career at Reuters, covering energy and environmental policy news, including the 2010 BP oil spill and the U.S. response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011. She also spent a year covering energy legal issues and court cases.

She graduated from Howard University in 2007 with a B.A. in journalism.

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Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down after criticism over his role in a nonprosecution deal reached years ago with the well-connected businessman accused of sex crimes, Jeffrey Epstein.

Acosta appeared on Friday at the White House with President Trump and announced his resignation.

"I do not think it is fair for this administration's Labor Department to have Epstein as its focus rather than the incredible economy we have today," Acosta said. "The right thing was to step aside."

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

President Trump is standing by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, at least for now.

Acosta is facing calls for his resignation after new sex trafficking charges were filed against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein on Monday.

Tucked into the 2017 law intended to cut Americans' taxes was a program aimed at helping communities struggling with high unemployment and run-down housing.

What's not clear is who's actually getting the most assistance from it.

The program allows investors to defer and potentially lower their capital gains taxes in exchange for investing in designated low-income neighborhoods.

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Sen. Kamala Harris of California directly challenged former Vice President Joe Biden over his past opposition to federal busing policy, in a heated exchange on the second night of the first Democratic presidential primary debate.

This issue, from early in Biden's lengthy career in Congress, has hung over his campaign for president, creating a clear target for challengers to his front-runner status.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump is threatening to use "overwhelming force" against Iran, after Tehran lashed out at the U.S. over the latest round of sanctions against the regime.

"Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration," Trump tweeted.

Later at a White House event, Trump said he's prepared for whatever happens next with Iran.

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Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the White House, President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Updated Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET

A day after U.S. and Mexico officials announced an agreement to avert tariffs — set to begin on Monday — affecting billions of dollars in imports from Mexico, President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter.

Under a joint agreement released by State Department officials, Mexico will assist the United States in curbing migration across the border by deploying its national guard troops through the country, especially its southern border.

President Trump attended a sumo wrestling competition with Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Sunday, as the Japanese rolled out the red carpet for Trump during his visit to Tokyo.

The wrestler who won the competition received a U.S.-made trophy named the President's Cup, in honor of Trump's trip.

"That was something to see these great athletes, because they really are athletes," Trump said after the tournament. "It's a very ancient sport and I've always wanted to see sumo wrestling, so it was really great."

Should people convicted of a crime be allowed to vote while in prison?

It's a question that's divided 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and sparked attacks from President Trump and his allies.

At a CNN town hall event on April 22, presidential hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked whether his support for allowing inmates to vote would extend to Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his role in the 2013 attack.

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Bridges, roads, infrastructure - most of the time, we don't pay attention to any of it until it starts to fall apart, of course - which has been happening for decades. And now in a divided Washington, this could be the issue that brings people together.

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President Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Thursday, as Moon attempts to get U.S. talks with North Korea back on track.

It will be the first meeting for Moon and Trump since the failed summit in Hanoi, which ended with no agreement from Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un on denuclearization.

President Trump is backing down from his threat to shut down the U.S. Southern border as soon as this week.

Trump had issued the warning in a bid to curtail surging border crossings by asylum-seekers from Central America. Instead, he is now giving Mexico "a one-year warning" to address his concerns about its handling of immigrants traveling through the country on the way to the United States. He also demanded that Mexico tamp down on the flow of drugs.

After spending 15 years in prison for a drug offense, Randy Rader had almost lost hope that he might get out of prison before his release date in 2023.

If Rader's conviction for 5 grams of crack cocaine — his third drug offense — had happened after 2010, he would have received a much shorter sentence. But the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which cut down on the disparity between penalties for crack cocaine and powder cocaine, did not apply to those already serving time.

President Trump will meet with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un this week in Vietnam, as he attempts to get Pyongyang to move toward what has been an elusive goal: complete denuclearization.

Trump has maintained that his ultimate goal is to get Kim to relinquish the regime's nuclear program. But, in the lead up to this second summit, he has repeatedly stressed that he's not setting a deadline for North Korea to act.

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We're going to bring in now NPR's White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, and she is going to give us the update on what's happening now. Ayesha, what have you learned from the White House point of view tonight?

Updated at 5:28 p.m. ET

With negotiations over reopening the government at a standstill, President Trump offered to back temporary protections for some immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, many of whom are now adults, in exchange for funding for a wall on the Southern border.

In a White House speech on Saturday, Trump also offered to extend the Temporary Protected Status program that blocks deportation of certain immigrants fleeing civil unrest or natural disasters.

In its quest to blunt the effects of the partial government shutdown, the Trump administration is using broad legal interpretations to continue providing certain services.

Critics argue that the administration is stretching — and possibly breaking — the law to help bolster President Trump's position in his fight with Democrats over funding for a border wall.

Even with the creative use of loopholes and existing funds, though, the actions the administration is taking will be hard to sustain if the shutdown continues to drag on.

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On this first day of 2019, the power in Washington is about to shift. On Thursday, Democrats take the House majority. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Updated on Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET

The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would reduce federal sentences for certain drug offenses and prepare prisoners for life after incarceration.

If the bill becomes law following passage in the House on Wednesday, a major reason will be the support it received from a surprising booster: President Trump.

In an interview with the Washington Post published online Tuesday, President Trump brushed aside climate change concerns by hailing the state of the environment in the United States.

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