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 6:15 p.m. ET

There was a private lobbying force behind President Trump's change of heart on his controversial policy that resulted in thousands of family separations at the southern U.S. border: first lady Melania Trump.

A White House official confirmed to NPR's Sarah McCammon that Mrs. Trump pressed her husband to act to keep undocumented immigrant families together.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders are reworking their "compromise" immigration bill to include a provision that modifies — but doesn't completely end — the "zero tolerance" policy being enforced now by the Trump administration.

Updated, 10:15 p.m. ET

On the same day that that President Trump's former campaign chairman was sent to jail, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani floated the idea that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation could be "cleaned up" with presidential pardons.

"When the whole thing is over, things might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons," Giuliani told the New York Daily News on Friday.

Updated at 9:41 a.m. ET on Wednesday

Results from Tuesday's primaries underscored one major theme – it's Donald Trump's Republican Party now.

‪"The Republican Party has moved from the country club to the country," former Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, who ran the committee charged with electing Republicans to the House, told NPR's Morning Edition on Wednesday.

Mark Sanford is a political survivor like few others.

As governor of South Carolina, he disappeared from the state and infamously claimed to be "hiking the Appalachian Trail" in 2009 when he was instead carrying on an extramarital affair in Argentina.

That scandal ended Sanford's marriage but he rode out the political storm and finished his second term in 2011.

White House aide Kelly Sadler is out of a job almost a month after she reportedly mocked a "dying" Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has brain cancer.

"Kelly Sadler is no longer employed within the Executive Office of the President," White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Tuesday.

Democratic dreams of a massive blue wave delivering them a House majority this fall may be dimming.

"Right now there's not a lot of signs of a true wave," argued one longtime House GOP operative. "There are tough races, and the Democrats have a path to the majority, but if they get locked out of two or three seats in California, or nominate far-left candidates in some of these battleground races, that starts to make it a lot harder."

Updated at 9:27 a.m. ET

President Trump tried out his own midterm playbook Tuesday at a campaign rally in Tennessee by ramping up his rhetoric on illegal immigration and gang-related crimes.

The president's main goal with the Nashville event was to campaign for GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who finds herself in a close Senate contest with former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen that could be pivotal in deciding control of the Senate.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

Tuesday was another big night for Democratic women and political newcomers in the party, with a historic nomination in Georgia, an intra-party squabble settled in Texas and an upset victory in a Kentucky House race.

The day's contests featured Democratic ideological and stylistic battles, but in the end the national party largely got the candidates they wanted — especially in critical Texas — that they believe will be the most competitive general election nominees.

Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democratic women again finished strong in primaries on Tuesday night, with Pennsylvania poised to send as many as four to Congress next year to break up the state's all-male congressional delegation.

Updated at 11:15 p.m. ET

Republicans may have avoided a possible electoral disaster in West Virginia with controversial coal baron Don Blankenship finishing third in the Senate primary to take on Democrat Joe Manchin, but voters gave the GOP establishment some warning signs in other places on Tuesday.

Democrats are going into the 2018 elections with the wind at their backs, which could even be enough to flip a Senate map heavily stacked for Republicans come November.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., is stepping down from Congress after a sexual harassment scandal earlier this year in which he called a former aide a "soul mate."

The Pennsylvania Republican, who had already announced he wouldn't seek re-election in 2018, announced he would resign effective Friday, ending an Ethics Committee investigation into allegations made by a former staffer and triggering another special election in the state this year.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Trump's embattled nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn from consideration for the post amid allegations he had fostered a hostile work environment and behaved improperly while serving as the top doctor leading the White House medical unit.

The gun issue is beginning to wane in voters' minds ahead of the November midterm elections, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

While almost half of all registered voters (46 percent) say a candidate's position on gun policy will be a major factor in deciding whom to vote for, that number is down 13 points from February, when a shooting at a Florida high school sparked outrage.

Pledging to impeach President Trump would backfire on Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives this fall, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Charlie Dent was already one of a record number of House Republicans who weren't running for re-election this November. Now he is rushing out the door even faster.

The moderate Pennsylvania Republican — who hasn't been shy about voicing his frustrations with the congressional GOP and disdain for President Trump — on Tuesday announced he would soon resign from Congress instead of sticking around until January.

Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on how they see special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to President Trump's campaign, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET on April 13

James Comey's much-anticipated memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, doesn't pull any punches when it comes to condemning the tenure of President Trump. The former FBI director, whom Trump unceremoniously fired, paints a picture of a chief executive only concerned about his own image in the press instead of the safety of the nation.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

President Trump unloaded on both Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, hours after federal agents raided the office of Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen.

"It's a disgraceful situation. It's a total witch hunt," Trump said on Monday. "When I saw this, when I heard about it, that is a whole new level of unfairness."

Embattled Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced Friday that he has resigned from Congress, months after reports surfaced that he had used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim by a former staffer.

"While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve," the four-term congressman said in a statement.

Fresh off her Sunday interview with CBS's 60 Minutes to discuss her alleged sexual encounter with President Trump, adult film actress Stormy Daniels is suing the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen for defamation.

The suit from Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, against both Trump and Cohen was amended Monday in the U.S. District Court in California, asking for a jury trial to settle the claim of defamation against Cohen.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, tackling a topic that would seem anathema to most Southern Democrats — gun control.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET Wednesday

Incumbents on both sides of the aisle prevailed in their contested races, as Tuesday's Illinois primaries set the stage for competitive House and gubernatorial races this fall that could be key to Democratic comeback efforts in 2018.

Tuesday's neck-and-neck special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District carries a lot of weight for both parties — despite the fact that it won't even exist in its current iteration come November.

Updated Saturday, March 10 at 2:32 p.m. ET

The White House appeared Friday to put conditions on a much anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying it would only happen once the rogue nation takes "concrete and verifiable action" to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization.

"We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through on concrete actions on the promises they've made," Sanders said Friday.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Texans cast their votes in primaries Tuesday, the first contests of the 2018 election cycle. Democrats turned out in numbers not seen in more than a decade — with outcomes in various races bringing about both history and controversy — though far more Republican voters showed up at the polls across the deep red state.

Updated at 6:02 p.m. ET

Citing his ailing health, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will resign on April 1, setting up a special election this November.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge," Cochran said in a statement Monday. "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate."

Updated on March 5 at 7:13 p.m. ET

The 2018 primary elections kick off this week, and Democrats are already seeing reasons to be excited deep in the red, beating heart of Texas.

Updated at 7:52 p.m. ET

In a freewheeling meeting with lawmakers on efforts to curtail gun violence, President Trump appeared to throw his support behind a number of conflicting measures, including some that are opposed by the powerful gun lobby.

Conservatives and allies of the president were angered by such signals on Wednesday, while others have begun to sound the alarm that Trump is continuing to demonstrate an unfamiliarity with basic policy proposals and a misunderstanding of the legislative process.

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