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Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered six presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

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What a week it was for Donald Trump.

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The White House moved up the president's announcement that he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by two days, possibly to distract from the firestorm of criticism over his chaotic rollout of his refugee policy.

But maybe the White House didn't have to worry.

New polls show the policy may not be as unpopular as all those protests over the weekend suggested.

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The Republican Party has embraced President-elect Donald Trump's positions on immigration, trade, the deficit and conflicts of interest, but when it comes to Russia, Trump and his party are not even close to being on the same page.

Trump has repeatedly and consistently expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin and has refused to accept intelligence community findings that Russia hacked Democratic Party emails during the campaign. That puts him at odds with almost every other Republican in Washington, D.C.

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The Republican Party heads into 2017 with more power than it has had for a long time.

For the Democrats, it's a different matter.

Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential race and Democratic failures further down the ballot have the party searching for a way forward.

Here are five things Democrats need to do, as they look for a path out of the political wilderness:

1. Be clear about how bad things are — and are not — for the Democratic Party.

Even before he is sworn in, Donald Trump is putting his own stamp on the role of chief executive.

That has some people rejoicing — and others worried about where he's going to take the country. Here is why some of Trump's critics say the president-elect could be a threat to democratic institutions and why others say those fears are overblown.

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The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

It's hard to be any more gobsmacked about the state of the presidential race right now, after a video of Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women surfaced Friday, prompting more than 30 prominent Republicans to call for him to step aside as the nominee.

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This evening's face-off between the 2016 vice presidential hopefuls certainly won't have the pizzazz — or inevitable enmity — that last week's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had.

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We're joined now by NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson who's going to help us figure out what all this means for the campaign and look ahead to the vice presidential debate coming up this week. Good morning, Mara.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The first presidential debate tonight is shaping up to be one of the most-watched political events ever, with a potentially Super Bowl-size audience.

Here are four things to watch for as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump take the stage at Hofstra University on Long Island.

1. Which Trump shows up

Donald Trump "won" the primary debates by dominating his opponents, often by name-calling and bluster. This one will be different.

On Monday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in their first debate at Hofstra University in New York. In a race this close and with as many as 100 million people watching, the debates present both candidates with chances to seize momentum but potential pitfalls as well.

Here are four things to think about as Donald Trump prepares for the debates. We also looked at four things to watch for Clinton.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be together on stage for the first time on Monday. Both candidates have a lot at stake when they meet at Hofstra University in New York for the first of three presidential debates, this one with moderator Lester Holt of NBC News.

Each has different opportunities and challenges in the debates. Here are four things Clinton will have to think about. We also looked at four things to watch for Trump.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is giving his adopted party a lot to think about. He has offered radically different approaches to trade, immigration, the size of government and national defense.

Now Republicans are debating whether, win or lose, Donald Trump has permanently altered their party's DNA.

Here are 4 questions that Republicans are grappling with:

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The Democratic National Convention is over. Here are some of the big takeaways from a week in Philadelphia that had more suspense and drama than expected.

The Democrats Are Really, Really Good At This

Just like Barack Obama's two conventions, this one was flawlessly choreographed. Even the revolt of the Bernie Bros had a more-or-less happy ending.

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Tonight President Obama will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention with one goal: convincing voters to elect Hillary Clinton as his successor.

The stakes are high for the newly minted nominee, but they are arguably even higher for the incumbent president. A Clinton win would mean his policy legacy is kept intact and there's validation of his tenure in the White House.

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