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.

President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his inaugural festivities on Thursday evening with a concert at the Lincoln Memorial, promising to unify the country but also reflecting on his unlikely election.

"This journey began 18 months ago. I had something to do with it, but you had much more to do with it than I did," Trump said. "I'm the messenger. I'm just the messenger."

President Obama's final press conference was one of both reflection and subtle rebuke toward incoming President-elect Donald Trump, defending voting rights and a free press, all while reassuring the American people that "at my core, I think we're going to be OK."

The final few days before President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office will be filled with a flurry of congressional activity, as the Senate holds confirmation hearings for eight more of his Cabinet nominees.

Most are expected to be fairly routine, but a few could be hot-button affairs, including hearings for Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt, Trump's nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Donald Trump lashed out at civil rights hero John Lewis on Twitter Saturday morning, a day after the Georgia Democratic congressman said in an interview he didn't view the president-elect as "legitimate" amid questions of Russia's interference in the U.S. elections.

President Obama awarded outgoing Vice President Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday afternoon.

Calling the former longtime Delaware senator "the best vice president America's ever had" and a "lion of American history," Obama gave his White House partner the surprise award in an emotional ceremony, initially billed as a farewell.

The week before Donald Trump takes the oath of office will set the stage for his entry into the Oval Office. Not only will at least nine of his Cabinet nominees begin their Senate confirmation hearings, but the president-elect himself will face reporters at a long-awaited press conference, where he may address how he plans to separate his business interests from his presidency.

On top of that, President Obama steps into the spotlight one last time, on Tuesday evening in Chicago, for a farewell address in which he's likely to frame his legacy.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

The Office of Government Ethics is raising alarm over the pace of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's nominees, saying Saturday that they have yet to receive required financial disclosures for some picks set to come before Congress next week.

As the 115th Congress is sworn in Tuesday, Republicans will be poised to control Washington with a stronger hand than they have in a decade — with the Senate, House and the White House in GOP control once President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

This past November, Republicans held their congressional losses to a minimum, helped by an unexpectedly strong GOP wave behind Trump. After losing just two Senate seats, they'll hold a 52-48 edge (two independents caucus with Democrats). In the House, Republicans lost six seats, giving them a 241-194 majority.

President-elect Donald Trump has used Twitter — his preferred means of communication — to weigh in on a swath of foreign policy issues over the past few weeks.

Some politicians seem to have nine lives, constantly evading scandal and overcoming the odds. But this past year, now-President-elect Donald Trump may have had more than that.

Many things he did would have been the death knell for any other candidate's political hopes — mocking a disabled reporter, bragging about groping, disparaging a Gold Star family and even boasting about his manhood during a national debate.

President-elect Donald Trump is lashing out in defense of his charitable foundation as he prepares to shutter it before taking the oath of office next month.

And in doing so, Trump incorrectly stated the charitable reach of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

In a series of tweets Monday evening, Trump said he had given millions to the foundation he began in 1987 and that all of the money raised went to "wonderful charities."

Michigan GOP Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel is in line to lead the Republican National Committee.

President-elect Donald Trump announced McDaniel's appointment on Wednesday as the RNC deputy chair. That puts her in place to succeed outgoing Chairman Reince Priebus, whom Trump has already tapped as his White House chief of staff.

The General Services Administration is pushing back against House Democrats' contention that President-elect Donald Trump would be breaching his lease on his latest hotel in the Old Post Office Building once he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20.

"GSA does not have a position that the lease provision requires the President-elect to divest of his financial interests. We can make no definitive statement at this time about what would constitute a breach of the agreement, and to do so now would be premature," the government agency said in a statement.

Updated Dec. 15, 11:30 a.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to be his interior secretary, the transition team announced Thursday morning.

Zinke is a first-term congressman and a former Navy SEAL commander who served in Iraq and was awarded two Bronze Stars. He was re-elected to a second term last month with 56 percent of the vote.

Amid news of possible Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, a top Hillary Clinton adviser is publicly casting support for a push by some members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing ahead of their formal vote next week.

"The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security," Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said in statement Monday. "Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed."

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump is leaning towards choosing Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state, according to multiple news reports this weekend. NPR has not independently confirmed those reports. The potential pick is already drawing scrutiny for the ExxonMobil CEO's close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Republicans claimed another electoral victory in the final Senate race of 2016 on Saturday, with Republican John Kennedy defeating Democrat Foster Campbell in a runoff election in Louisiana.

The win by Kennedy, the state treasurer, will give Republicans a 52-48 majority in the Senate come January. He succeeds retiring GOP Sen. David Vitter, who lost a bid for governor last year and decided not to seek re-election.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the dangers of the promulgation of fake news on Thursday after conspiracy stories involving her campaign spurred violence recently.

"The epidemic of malicious fake news and fake propaganda that flooded social media over the past year, it's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences," Clinton said.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen fast-food restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor, his transition team announced Thursday.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Holdings, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, and in a statement Trump praised him as someone who "has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans."

President-elect Donald Trump continued his "Thank You" victory tour on Tuesday, making a stop in North Carolina to tout his national security agenda and formally introduce his pick for Defense Secretary, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis.

Speaking in Fayetteville, N.C., Trump called Mattis the "living embodiment of the Marine Corps motto" — Semper Fidelis.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Dr. Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in his incoming administration.

"Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities," Trump said in a statement released Monday. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities."

Nancy Pelosi beat back her toughest challenge yet to her leadership of Democrats in the House of Representatives, defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan to secure another term as House minority leader.

The California Democrat got 134 votes to Ryan's 63 in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. Pelosi had boasted going into the vote that she had support from two-thirds of the caucus, and she received just over that amount.

President-elect Donald Trump and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney continued their awkward reconciliation on Tuesday, dining together as Trump weighs whether to pick one of his onetime fiercest critics to lead the State Department.

As Romney lobbies for the job, he made his starkest remarks yet unequivocally praising the incoming president as someone who "can lead us to that better future" — a complete 180-degree turn from blasting Trump as a "phony" and "fraud" just months ago.

President-elect Donald Trump and Carrier have reached an agreement to keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S., the air-conditioner company announced Tuesday evening.

Trump also tweeted:

President-elect Donald Trump has officially won Michigan's 16 electoral votes, although a recount is possible. It's the last state to officially certify its election results and comes nearly three weeks after Election Day.

President-elect Donald Trump issued a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday evening, calling for the nation to come together after a bruising, bitter campaign.

Kellyanne Conway, a Trump transition senior adviser, defended President-elect Donald Trump's handling of his business interests, telling NPR in an interview that concerns about the influence his children may have in mixing their roles and the Trump companies with advising their father are unfounded.

This story was updated with video at 8:08 p.m. ET

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