Domenico Montanaro | KUOW News and Information

Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead editor for politics and digital audience. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs political coverage across the network's broadcast and digital platforms.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and has taught high-school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a die-hard Mets fan and college-basketball junkie.

There is a telling photo that has gotten some attention in social media after Steve Bannon's exit as President Trump's chief strategist. (You can see it above.)

It shows President Trump behind the desk in the Oval Office, surrounded by his top advisers: Seated are Vice President Pence and national security adviser Mike Flynn; standing, from left to right, are chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and press secretary Sean Spicer.

That was Jan. 28, eight days after Trump was inaugurated.

Today, only Pence remains.

A majority of Americans think President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was "not strong enough," according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Fifty-two percent of respondents said so, as compared with just over a quarter (27 percent) who thought it was strong enough.

No single issue has been a greater animating force for the Republican base over the past decade than immigration — except maybe the Affordable Care
Act (aka Obamacare).

And with the failure of GOP health care efforts in Congress and sliding poll numbers this summer, the Trump White House seems to be making a concerted effort to elevate cultural wedge issues, from immigration and a ban on transgender people in the military to affirmative action and police conduct.

Anthony Scaramucci's tenure at the White House was so short that it has inspired a meme about things that lasted longer.

As BuzzFeed noted, they included Kim Kardashian's marriage, being on hold with customer service, instant replay and pimples.

You get the idea.

But "The Mooch" actually accomplished a remarkable amount in such a short time. Don't think so? Let's review:

1. 10 days, four people gone (including himself)

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The new White House chief of staff removed a distraction by firing Anthony Scaramucci. So what's he do with all those other distractions?

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

He rose from relative state-party obscurity and reached an unlikely pinnacle as the man responsible for the agenda of the president of the United States.

Now, Reince Priebus is out of that job as White House chief of staff in the most significant shake-up of the rocky Trump presidency.

President Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has been named to replace Priebus, who says he resigned Thursday.

Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House, was interviewed by Rachel Martin on NPR's Morning Edition on Wednesday.

Gingrich threw out a lot of allegations, including that the Justice Department is "very liberal" and "anti-Trump"; that Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and now special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, is biased because of donations to Hillary Clinton from people at his law firm; and that Mueller has hired "killers" to take down Trump.

"Know your audience" is usually the first rule of public speaking. But that doesn't really seem to matter all that much to President Trump.

Trump became overtly political in yet another setting that some are seeing as crossing the line — in a speech to the Boy Scouts.

Ironically, Trump began his remarks Monday night promising not to talk about politics.

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Update at 4:05 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer just five days ago, returned to applause on the Senate floor Tuesday, where he cast a crucial vote to move forward on repeal of the Affordable Care Act and urged his colleagues to regain their sense of bipartisan cooperation.

However, the longtime Arizona senator, two-time presidential candidate and perhaps America's most famous former prisoner of war, warned that he "will not vote for this bill as it is today," describing it as "a shell."

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President Trump's son-in-law wrote it down. Jared Kushner says he did not collude with Russia during the 2016 election.

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Meghan McCain writes that, of her family members, the one most confident and calm right now is her father.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Her father is Senator John McCain. And his office says he was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The defeat of the GOP Senate health care bill is a major blow to all Republicans involved.

President Trump, whose approval rating is lower than any recent president this early in his term, is now staring at an agenda imperiled. Despite his boasts, he has achieved little of significance through Congress. That failure is compounded by the fact that his party controls both chambers.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Cookouts, BBQs, whatever you want to call it, millions of people will throw some burgers and dogs on the grill Tuesday to celebrate Independence Day. Americans are expected to spend $7.15 billion on July Fourth food and eat some 150 million hot dogs.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And, Steve, did a presidential tweet just bring unity to Washington, D.C.?

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Defeat is an orphan.

Summing up the left's response to its deflating loss in a special congressional election in the Atlanta suburbs were two reactions:

1. Jim Dean, chairman of the progressive activist group Democracy For America, in a statement:

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A special counsel's curiosity now reportedly extends to the actions of President Trump.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's nothing that quite says summer like baseball.

A baseball field is a sanctuary for millions of boys and girls, moms and dads. From the working class to the white collar, from the Marine to the congressman, America's pastime has been a respite from the day-to-day grind for generations.

That's why Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice in a placid neighborhood in a Virginia suburb of Washington was so shocking.

Jeff Sessions did exactly what he needed to do Tuesday — help himself in the eyes of his boss, President Trump, and, in turn, help Trump.

The attorney general, an early Trump supporter, revealed little in the congressional hearing about the ongoing Russia saga or Trump's role in possibly trying to quash the investigation looking into it.

Using vague legal justification, Sessions shut down potentially important lines of investigative questioning — and that may be exactly how the White House wants it.

Trump ally Chris Ruddy has caused quite a stir over the past 24 hours.

The CEO of the right-wing website Newsmax, a close friend of Trump's, has been making the media rounds saying President Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Department of Justice investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All we want are the facts, ma'am.

During his congressional testimony Thursday, James Comey played his best Sgt. Joe Friday, the protagonist of the 1950s Dragnet TV series known for that signature line.

Asked whether he thought President Trump obstructed justice, Comey, the fired FBI director, declined to give his opinion.

"I don't know," Comey said. "That — that's Bob Mueller's job to sort that out."

Updated June 20, 2017, at 2:42 p.m. ET

Remember when President Trump allegedly leaking classified information to the Russians was dominating news coverage?

You'd be forgiven if you only vaguely remembered that, because it was so long ago — Monday, a lifetime in Trump-era news terms.

Take a look at what else happened this week

Monday
"Reports: Trump Gave Classified Info To Russians During White House Visit"

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The morning after former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Trump team ties to Russia, President Trump is declaring "this" the "single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

It's another example of Trump going to grievance politics after a week of missteps and revelatory leaks.

The elephant in the room whenever talking about President Trump and the Russia investigation is the big I-word — impeachment.

The word had been in the not-so-far reaches of liberal conspiracy talk since Trump was elected. There is a website with more than 976,000 signatures on a petition encouraging Congress to impeach Trump. There is even an "Impeach Donald Trump" Twitter handle.

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

President Trump is responding to the backlash against the allegations that he shared "highly classified" information with the Russians by saying he had "the absolute right to do" so.

He tweeted Tuesday morning:

And he went a step further, again taking aim at fired former FBI Director James Comey and "leakers":

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