Ayesha Rascoe

On his very first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order meant to begin unraveling the systemic barriers that have magnified economic inequality in the United States.

Now months later, as Congress haggles over the size and scope of Biden's proposals to transform the social safety net, advocates for equity are worried that the final product may leave out too many who need help.

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When she was press secretary for then-President Donald Trump, Stephanie Grisham never publicly briefed reporters from the iconic lectern in the White House briefing room. But now — many months after Trump left office — Grisham has a lot to say.

In her new book, I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House, the longtime Trump staffer paints a portrait of an administration wracked by chaos and infighting egged on by the president himself.

"At the White House, Trump was the distant, erratic father we all wanted to please," Grisham writes.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 12:40 PM ET

As President Biden prepared for his maiden speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, his White House was reeling from a trifecta of bad news stories — headlines that underscored questions about U.S. leadership in the world.

Updated September 15, 2021 at 9:33 PM ET

In a rare step, President Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States plans to share its nuclear-powered submarine technology with Australia as part of a new defense partnership with that country and the United Kingdom.

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President Biden had high praise for the U.S. service members who lost their lives in the attack, calling them heroes. In a speech at the White House, the president also pledged the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would press on.

Vice President Harris on Friday will travel to Singapore and Vietnam with the goal of cementing U.S. relationships in the region against the rising influence of China.

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The White House acknowledged today that there are, quote, "reasonable questions" about how the Biden administration is withdrawing from Afghanistan. But the president's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, defended Biden's decision to get out.

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Updated July 2, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET

An independent review of how the military deals with sexual assault has found that commanders need training in how to prevent what an official calls "daily acts of demeaning language and sexual harassment" that junior enlisted members experience on the job.

Every Friday, the hosts and guests on Pop Culture Happy Hour share the shows, movies, books and music that brought them joy that week. We hope they make you happy, too!

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President Biden said he's not focused on whether he can "trust" the Russian president ahead of their sit-down this week, but he's hoping he will be able to find some areas where he can work with Vladimir Putin — while laying out "red lines" for other areas.

Biden spoke with reporters after a day of meetings with NATO allies in Brussels. He said that he discussed the upcoming U.S.-Russia summit with alliance members and that leaders were supportive of his outreach to Putin.

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Updated June 4, 2021 at 5:59 PM ET

The White House says a new offer on an infrastructure package from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia is insufficient as the search for middle ground between President Biden and Republicans remains elusive.

Biden and Capito spoke on the phone Friday, the latest in a series of talks between the two. Capito is leading the group of GOP senators working with the White House on a potential agreement, and is tasked by her leaders to head the negotiations.

Updated June 3, 2021 at 11:30 AM ET

The Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident." Those truths the founders were talking about are at the core of American democracy — that all people are created equal, that they have certain inherent rights, that governments get their power from the people they serve.

But what happens when the people aren't united in a shared set of facts — when "truth" isn't evident or agreed upon?

Updated June 2, 2021 at 2:49 PM ET

President Biden says the "incredible intensity" of focus behind recent Republican state voting laws is an "unprecedented assault" on U.S. democracy, rallying voting rights groups to redouble their efforts to register voters and urging the U.S. Senate to pass new legislation.

Signaling the importance he puts on voting rights, Biden is putting Vice President Harris in charge of the administration's campaign.

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Updated June 1, 2021 at 5:12 PM ET

President Biden traveled to Oklahoma on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre amid a renewed reckoning over a long-overlooked attack that left as many as 300 people dead in a community once known as Black Wall Street.

Updated May 26, 2021 at 2:37 PM ET

When Karine Jean-Pierre stepped behind the lectern to take reporters' questions in the briefing room Wednesday, she was the first Black woman to speak for the White House in that capacity in three decades.

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When President Biden hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday, the new White House approach to North Korea will likely be top of the agenda.

Biden is the latest United States president forced to contend with a nuclear-armed North Korea that is bombastic and hostile toward the U.S. and its allies in the region.

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On Wednesday night, President Biden will propose a plan for billions of dollars of new spending for childcare, education and paid leave, and he'll ask Congress to help pay for it by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans when they sell stocks and other types of investments.

The proposal, which is certain to face resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats, calls for hiking capital gains taxes for those who make more than $1 million a year to fund what the White House is calling the American Families Plan.

When President Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to the White House on Friday, concerns about the competition posed by China will be front and center in the talks.

It is Biden's first in-person visit with a foreign leader at the White House since he took office, and it sends a signal about how Biden plans to work through alliances to counter China.

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The U.S. economy added more than 900,000 jobs last month. For most White House officials, that would be considered a banner number. For Janelle Jones, the top economist at the Labor Department, there is much more work for the Biden administration to do.

Jones, the first Black woman to ever hold her position, says it would take a year of similar jobs reports just to get back to where the economy was before the pandemic. But even then, she says, getting back to the status quo is not enough.

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