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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 10 p.m. ET

Polls have closed in the closely watched Montana special election. The race was upended in the final hours following an altercation between the Republican congressional candidate, Greg Gianforte, and a reporter, adding even more uncertainty to an unusually tight contest.

President Trump told Russian officials last week that he had fired the "nut job" FBI Director James Comey to ease the pressure of the mounting investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia, according to a report from The New York Times.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of Congress that he knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote a memo that the White House has cited to justify the termination.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

In his first on-camera remarks amid burgeoning scandals engulfing his White House, President Trump denied he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to scuttle an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

"No. No. Next question," Trump responded curtly to a reporter during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday afternoon.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the growing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to associates of President Trump.

"In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

Amid several swirling crises engulfing his administration, President Trump used part of his speech Wednesday to graduates at the United States Coast Guard Academy to complain about how unfairly he was being treated by the media.

"Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted," the president told graduates of the military service academy in New London, Conn. "But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight."

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

The absence of former FBI Director James Comey loomed large over the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing with top U.S. intelligence leaders, but his temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, assured lawmakers he would not bend to pressure from the White House.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," McCabe said.

Updated at 9:22 p.m. ET

The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

The White House and Congress reached a deal last week to keep the government open — at least until this fall.

But in reality, the compromise may well have just kicked the can down the road until September, when both sides may be spoiling for a fight amid the specter of a government shutdown.

As soon as the House approved the GOP health care bill on Thursday, Democrats were working on using it against Republicans in next year's midterm elections.

"They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar they carry," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared just after the American Health Care Act passed the House.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Jim DeMint has been ousted as president of the Heritage Foundation, amid growing concerns over the direction of the influential conservative think tank.

While several news organizations had reported in recent days that his departure was imminent, Heritage's board of trustees did not mince words in a statement Tuesday confirming that the former South Carolina senator's exit came after a unanimous vote for his removal.

Updated at 11:20 p.m. ET

In her most frank remarks to date after her loss to President Trump, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said that if not for a controversial letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian meddling in the election, she would be sitting in the Oval Office right now.

Updated at 9:45 p.m.

Former first lady Michelle Obama might find some of the latest actions by the Trump administration pretty difficult to stomach.

On Monday newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a rollback of school lunch standards championed by the former first lady, declaring at a Virginia school that the administration would "Make School Meals Great Again."

Former President Barack Obama on Monday gave his first public address since leaving office, moderating a panel with young people on community engagement while dancing around the turmoil surrounding his White House successor.

"So, uh, what's been going on while I've been gone?" Obama deadpanned at the beginning of his opening remarks at the University of Chicago.

Updated at 2:08 a.m.

Republicans escaped a potentially brutal loss on Tuesday night — for now — by forcing a runoff in a closely watched Georgia special congressional election.

Democrat Jon Ossoff would fall just short of the 50 percent needed to win outright in the crowded 18-way all-party primary, the Associated Press projected early Wednesday. Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer, instead will face off against Republican and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel on June 20.

Republicans are trying to prevent a political tremor from happening Tuesday night just north of Atlanta that would be a blow to President Trump and a boon to the rising Democratic opposition to him.

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Democrats in Georgia's 6th District aren't exactly used to the fact that they might actually win something.

"It's just so wonderful to have a potential for a progressive Democrat to capture the district, and to send a message that we don't approve of the Trump agenda and the direction he's taking the country in," Bruce Johnson said as he gathered at Jon Ossoff's campaign office on Saturday morning to begin knocking on doors ahead of Tuesday's vote.

Republican worries over congressional special elections haven't entirely reached South Carolina's 5th District — yet.

At a GOP candidate forum Thursday night in Rock Hill, five of the candidates vying to succeed former Rep. Mick Mulvaney, who left to direct the White House's Office of Management and Budget, were virtually united on most major issues facing their party and in their praise of President Trump.

Updated: Tues., 4/11/17, 9:50 a.m. ET

Democrats are hoping to prove that the growing opposition to President Trump is very real with an upset in one — or possibly even two — upcoming special congressional elections.

Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET

President Trump condemned the horrific chemical attack in Syria that has been blamed on its president, Bashar Assad, signaling a shift in Trump's approach toward the country's controversial leader — but didn't elaborate on how the U.S. would respond.

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

Steve Bannon has been removed from his controversial role on the National Security Council just months after he was elevated to the position.

President Trump's chief strategist will no longer be a regular attendee of the principals committee of the NSC, but he will retain his role as senior adviser for domestic affairs.

Since the Republican health care bill died recently, President Trump has been looking to shift blame for the early failure in his administration. Last week, he found an easy scapegoat — the conservative House Freedom Caucus, that had voiced reservations about the Affordable Care Act replacement plan from the outset.

In a series of tweets, the president raised the specter of even backing primary challengers against some of the caucus's members, and later began calling out the group's leaders by name.

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

Throughout the campaign, President Trump billed himself as a master negotiator who would make the "best deals" for the American people.

Former President Obama took a victory lap Thursday on seventh anniversary of his signature health care law even as Republicans had planned to formally begin the process of gutting it in celebration.

But now, it's the GOP replacement plan that remains on life support. Republicans postponed a planned evening vote in the House, denying them a symbolic chance to make good on their years-long promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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