Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.

Previously Keith covered congress for NPR with an emphasis on House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world, from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues, and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake, and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived of and solely reported "The Road Back To Work," a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member station KQED's California Report, where she covered agriculture, the environment, economic issues, and state politics. She covered the 2004 presidential election for NPR Member station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and opened the state capital bureau for NPR Member station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio to cover then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Keith is part of the Politics Monday team on the PBS NewsHour, a weekly segment rounding up the latest political news. Keith is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

President Trump's second State of the Union address will be delivered Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress with all the usual pomp and circumstance. But the political backdrop is unusual, coming in the aftermath of the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history and on the eve of what could be another vicious fight or even another shutdown.

The fight at the heart of the shutdown — the fight over the president's border wall — remains unresolved with the clock ticking to make a deal.

After a week of tit for tat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, amid a monthlong government shutdown, the White House is now moving ahead with plans for the president's State of the Union address, proceeding as if it were happening as originally planned next week.

White House officials are aiming for the speech to occur before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 29. But it is far from guaranteed. The House must pass a resolution to call a joint session with the Senate before the president can come speak.

Politicians often have to change course when their campaign promises run up against reality. But when President Trump ran for office, and throughout his presidency, an explicit part of his pitch was that he wasn't like all the other politicians. Trump's "great wall" was a big concrete symbol of that.

Except that now it isn't even concrete. In recent weeks, he has been saying it will be made of "beautiful" steel slats. The way Trump has described the wall has changed a lot over time, to the point of contradiction. That includes how the wall will be paid for.

The call came Sunday afternoon.

"Can you come to the White House?"

I was still wearing running pants and had my hair up in a plastic scrunchy, but figured there wasn't time to change.

I was called to the office of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who had me leave my purse and cellphone outside before sitting down. This was sensitive.

Updated at 5:20 a.m. ET on Thursday

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump traveled to Iraq to visit U.S. troops on the day after Christmas, an unannounced trip about which the president nonetheless had been hinting for some time.

The Trumps' arrival at Al Asad Air Base followed the president's recent orders to pull back on U.S. troop deployments elsewhere — orders that have come under intense scrutiny.

On the second full day of the Trump presidency, all of the top White House aides gathered in the East Room to be sworn in by Vice President Pence. They raised their right hands and swore to defend the Constitution.

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Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

In a testy Oval Office exchange with the two top congressional Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump made clear he would be "proud" to shut down the government in less than two weeks if he doesn't get funding for his border wall.

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World leaders have been paying tribute to former President Bush at the G-20 summit in Argentina, which concludes today. NPR's Tamara Keith has been there following President Trump in Buenos Aires, and she is with us now.

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Senators from both parties sent a message loud and clear to both Saudi Arabia and to the Trump administration.

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Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Just moments after Air Force One lifted off for Buenos Aires, Argentina — where President Trump was to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin — Trump canceled the meeting via tweet. He cited intensifying Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

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