Jessica Taylor | KUOW News and Information

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 12:30 p.m. ET

During a meandering speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Trump doubled down on arming some teachers and school personnel after last week's shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that killed 17 people.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Just over a week after 17 people were killed at Parkland, Fla., high school, National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery, defiant speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday at the National Harbor in Maryland. LaPierre defended Second Amendment rights and warned of a "socialist agenda" intended to strip firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

If the answer is, "This longtime Jeopardy! host has been chosen to moderate a Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate this fall," then the question is, "Who is Alex Trebek?"

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer has reversed course and will challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, finally giving Republicans a top recruit in a state that President Trump won by more than 30 points and making it a prime pickup opportunity for the GOP in 2018.

On Facebook, Cramer posted he will be announcing his Senate candidacy on Friday in Bismarck.

A week after allegations of domestic abuse against a now-former top aide ensnared the White House in scandal, President Trump condemned domestic violence Wednesday.

"I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind, and everybody here knows that," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a photo op for an event related to the recently enacted tax law. "I'm totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind. Everyone knows that. And it almost wouldn't even have to be said. So, now you hear it, but you all know."

Updated at 9:07 a.m. ET

President Trump signed a bipartisan budget agreement Friday morning, following approval of the bill in Congress shortly before sunrise.

The two-year spending pact will let lawmakers spend $300 billion more than current law allows.

The deal suspends a 2011 budget law championed by conservatives that set hard caps on discretionary spending and included an automatic trigger known as "sequester" cuts if Congress attempted to bust those spending caps.

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday that he is not seeking re-election, making him the 34th Republican and ninth committee chairman to retire ahead of the potentially brutal 2018 midterm elections.

Gowdy is a former prosecutor who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. He gained national attention and conservative acclaim as the chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's response to the attacks.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is the latest veteran Republican to announce his retirement, opening up another competitive district as the GOP braces for what could be a brutal midterm cycle.

It's a no-go from Oprah for 2020.

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul and actress who spurred buzz of a White House bid with her stirring speech at the Golden Globes this month, told InStyle that she isn't interested in being president.

"I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. ... I don't have the DNA for it," Winfrey told the magazine.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

If you're trying to tamp down on allegations of sexual harassment, it's probably not a good idea to say the staffer who is making the claim was a "soul mate."

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

The federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

As President Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, a majority of Americans think that his first year in office has been a failure and that he has divided the nation.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll data released Thursday finds that Americans deemed Trump's first year a failure, 53 percent to 40 percent. And by an almost 2-to-1 ratio (61 percent to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.

President Trump is in excellent health with "no indication" of "any cognitive issues" — but he could afford to lose a few pounds and start exercising over the coming year, according to the president's physician.

Updated on Feb. 20, 1:04 p.m. ET

The number of House Republicans declining to run for re-election has hit a record level in 2018, as 36 GOP members have said they are leaving: 21 are retiring from public office, while 15 are seeking another position. That includes six Republicans from districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. A total of nine committee chairmen also aren't seeking re-election.

Americans love Oprah Winfrey — they just don't necessarily want her to run for president.

In a head-to-head matchup with President Trump, Winfrey would win 50 to 39 percent, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

But when asked if they want Winfrey to run for president, a majority (54 percent) said they don't want her to do so, with 35 percent saying they do want her to run.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., says a primary challenge in 2020 to President Trump isn't off the table.

"That's not in my plans, but I don't rule anything out," the frequent Trump critic told NPR's Robert Siegel in an interview airing Thursday on All Things Considered.

Updated at 8:44 p.m. ET

The White House announced Wednesday that President Trump's controversial Advisory Commission on Election Integrity — which was mired in lawsuits and had received pushback from states over voter data requests — has been dissolved.

Suffice it to say, Roy Moore just can't let it go.

More than two weeks after the Alabama Republican Senate nominee lost the state's special election to Democrat Doug Jones by about 20,000 votes, Moore not only has yet to concede but filed a lawsuit alleging voter fraud — just hours before the election was set to be certified.

On Thursday, a judge rejected the lawsuit. The certification of Jones as the winner went on as planned.

Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET on Jan. 4

A pivotal Virginia legislative race — and control of the entire House of Delegates — came down to the luck of the draw on Thursday.

Democrats have a path to a Senate majority in 2018 after an upset win by Doug Jones in last Tuesday's Alabama Senate special election.

That was something thought to be a near impossibility at the start of the Trump presidency.

The win in Alabama now gives Democrats the elusive third target seat they had been looking for, which they needed given they're defending 10 incumbents who sit in states that Trump won last November.

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

"Unprecedented" is a term that was thrown around a lot to describe the crazy 2016 presidential election. Now, the Alabama Senate race may be giving that campaign a run for its money.

For some Alabama voters, supporting abortion rights may be a sin worse than some of the sexual misdeeds Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore has been accused of — allegations Moore has denied.

That's the conundrum facing the state's conservative, deeply religious electorate: Embrace Democrat Doug Jones despite his liberal stance on abortion and other social issues or vote for Moore anyway even if they believe there is some truth to the sexual assault allegations against him.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is planning to take his crusade against President Trump's tendency to play fast and loose with the truth to the Senate floor.

The retiring lawmaker told Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep he is planning a series of speeches about the critical importance of facts and truth to American democracy. Flake continues to be one of the few GOP legislators to vigorously speak out against Trump.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is defending Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, who has been accused by multiple women of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s.

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