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.

Calls are growing for the Republican chairman of a key intelligence panel to recuse himself.

"There is such a cloud over the chairman's leadership," Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told NPR's Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.

Schiff was referring to Chairman Devin Nunes, who revealed Monday that he had met with an intelligence official on the White House grounds a day before announcing that there was evidence he had seen to indicate the Trump campaign and transition were scooped up in incidental surveillance.

President Trump was downright low energy.

The look on his face, as he meandered through unscripted remarks Friday after the defeat of the Republican health care plan he supported, told the story. The unusually subdued Trump called the loss a "learning experience." Then he seemed to shrug it all off and said he was moving on.

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Updated at 9:48 p.m. ET

The White House issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday: Vote for the current GOP health care replacement plan or leave the Affordable Care Act in place and suffer the political consequences.

Donald Trump likes to move fast.

But to this point, for all the bravado, executive actions and tweets, much of Trump's presidency has been showy without a lot of practical effect. For that to change, much could depend on the next three weeks. This critical phase could set his ambitious agenda on course or derail it.

It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

For more than a year, Donald Trump has harped on white nostalgia.

A hearkening back to a rosy, but ambiguous, time in American history with his Make America Great Again slogan propelled his presidential run. It was a message, though, largely not embraced in minority communities, given that blacks, Latinos and women were fighting for equal rights during the same period Trump has indicated he believes America was great (the Industrial Revolution and the post-World War II 1940s and '50s).

It was almost a year ago when then-candidate Donald Trump said the following (bolding ours):

"My wife is constantly saying, 'Darling, be more presidential.' I just don't know that I want to do it quite yet ... because we have a job to do. ... And we're doing so good. And we have to be tough for a little while. And I'll be — at some point, I'm going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored."

President Trump is receiving plaudits for his first joint address to Congress.

The White House certainly thinks it went well — so much so, it was reported that the White House is holding its revised travel ban, in part, to bask in the glow of the positive reviews.

Snap polls after the speech showed that people who watched it largely liked it.

3:23 p.m. ET: Perez wins DNC chairmanship, names Ellison deputy

Former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez won the DNC chairmanship on second round.

It was met by protest from about a dozen Keith Ellison supporters, who chanted, repeatedly, "Not big money, party for the people."

They were shushed and overshouted.

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President Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struck a defiant tone in brief remarks before conservative activists at a political conference outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday. But she held back on the administration's rescinding of Obama administration guidance to schools on transgender rights.

President Trump is defending the Jan. 29 Yemen raid, in which an American Navy SEAL was killed, as a "winning mission." He is also lashing out at Republican Sen. John McCain, who called the raid a "failure."

Trump chastised McCain for talking to the media about it, saying it "only emboldens the enemy," and whacked McCain for not knowing "how to win anymore."

President Trump has gotten his man at the State Department.

Rex Tillerson was approved by a 56-43 vote Wednesday in the Senate. Four senators who caucus with the Democrats crossed the aisle and joined all of the Republicans in voting for Tillerson. They were Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as independent Angus King of Maine.

Holding up papers with highlighted text, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said little has changed as it relates to the National Security Council between the Trump, Obama and Bush administrations.

He thundered of "identical language" between (parts of the) 2017 and 2009 memos organizing the NSC. And he went further when it came to George W. Bush's administration.

Hundreds were detained at airports around the country Saturday in a chaotic and confusing day following President Trump's Friday night executive order temporarily banning Muslims from seven countries.

It spurred protests and backlash — even from some in Trump's own party, for either mismanagement of the rollout of the order or the values it represents.

President Trump's inner circle got one more member — CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

The Senate confirmed the former Kansas congressman's nomination to the post Monday night. It came after Trump went to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Saturday to laud the spy agency and blast Democrats for delaying a vote on Pompeo's nomination. (That was the same event where the president said he was at "war" with the media and falsely claimed to have 1 million to 1.5 million people in attendance for his inauguration.)

When the transition from President Obama to President Trump happened officially at noon ET, a lot changed, including the White House website.

Waiting on the new website were six priority areas laid out, including on foreign policy. The entire foreign policy section is literally just 220 words, so it's hard to draw more than a thumbnail sketch about Trump's foreign policy. But it gives the first hint of something of a Trump doctrine.

President-elect Donald Trump told a group gathered at an inauguration luncheon Thursday that he is naming New York Jets owner Woody Johnson to be ambassador to the Court of St. James's, the ambassador to the U.K., a transition official confirmed.

Trump's remarks came after the press was ushered out of the luncheon.

Johnson was the Trump campaign's finance chairman. Appointing an NFL team owner is not without precedent. President Obama named Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a campaign booster, as ambassador to Ireland in 2009.

Donald Trump hasn't held a wide-ranging press conference in 167 days. That streak is expected to be broken Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, when Trump holds his first news conference since being elected president.

He'd tweeted 1,601 times in that time, as of midnight Wednesday.

Donald Trump met Tuesday with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist and known skeptic of childhood vaccinations. Kennedy has been a prominent voice in the anti-vaccine community, raising questions for years about a possible (disproven) link between a preservative in some vaccines and autism.

The official Electoral College vote tally just concluded, but some Democratic House members decided to put on a bit of a show.

More than half a dozen members rose at different points to object to the results of the election, citing Russian hacking, the legitimacy of the election and electors, voting machines, voter suppression and more.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET after briefing

After casting doubt on the legitimacy of U.S. intelligence (even referring to it as "intelligence"), President-elect Donald Trump was briefed Friday by the nation's top intelligence officials on their investigation into Russia's hacking attempts and interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Director of National Security James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey briefed the president-elect on their findings at Trump Tower early Friday afternoon.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's Christmas, and Santa Claus just completed his annual, almost unbelievable, trip around the world to drop off presents for children everywhere.

But on his way, he's stopped off through the years to hang out with the first family — sometimes, perhaps, there was some mistletoe around.

Donald Trump may have run into the first example of how the equal branches of government work — and he's not even president yet.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the man who controls the agenda in the upper chamber, differed with Trump in a Monday morning press conference, saying he believes Russian involvement in the U.S. election needs to be investigated.

He added, "I have the highest confidence in the intelligence community, and especially the Central Intelligence Agency."

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It was perhaps the unthinkable: President Obama meeting with his successor at the White House in the first step to carry out the peaceful transition of power in the American republic — and that successor is Donald Trump.

But that's exactly what happened Thursday morning in what amounts to one of the more surreal moments in American political history.

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