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 at 8:15 p.m. ET

A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities in connection with the attack on the 2016 presidential election.

The defendants are "accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes," according to a statement from the special counsel's office. The indictment charges them with "conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft."

The Republican National Committee has named Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts its new finance chairman days after its former fundraising chief, real estate and casino magnate Steve Wynn, stepped down amid allegations of sexual assault.

"His incredible leadership and proven track record of results will continue to grow support for our party and ensure we have the resources needed to deliver Republican victories in 2018 and beyond," RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said of Ricketts.

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy announced Wednesday that he is not seeking re-election, making him the 34th Republican and ninth committee chairman to retire ahead of the potentially brutal 2018 midterm elections.

Gowdy is a former prosecutor who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. He gained national attention and conservative acclaim as the chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's response to the attacks.

Updated on Jan. 31 at 12:47 a.m. ET

President Trump sought to strike a unifying tone with his first State of the Union address, but some of his rhetoric on immigration and his promise to put "America First" was clearly aimed at his base.

It's a no-go from Oprah for 2020.

Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul and actress who spurred buzz of a White House bid with her stirring speech at the Golden Globes this month, told InStyle that she isn't interested in being president.

"I've always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not. ... I don't have the DNA for it," Winfrey told the magazine.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

The federal government is in the midst of a partial shutdown, and it appears it will be that way for some time.

President Trump and members of Congress publicly say they want to reopen the federal government, but, in the first day of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue showed no signs of ending their stalemate.

As President Trump approaches the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, a majority of Americans think that his first year in office has been a failure and that he has divided the nation.

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll data released Thursday finds that Americans deemed Trump's first year a failure, 53 percent to 40 percent. And by an almost 2-to-1 ratio (61 percent to 32 percent), Americans said they believe Trump has divided the country since his election.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. ET

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.

There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

There are two new faces and a slimmer GOP Senate majority as the chamber returned to kick off 2018 on Wednesday.

Alabama Democrat Doug Jones takes the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after his December victory over controversial GOP nominee Roy Moore, who was accused by several women of sexual assault and misconduct against them when they were teens and he was in his 30s.

Democrats have a path to a Senate majority in 2018 after an upset win by Doug Jones in last Tuesday's Alabama Senate special election.

That was something thought to be a near impossibility at the start of the Trump presidency.

The win in Alabama now gives Democrats the elusive third target seat they had been looking for, which they needed given they're defending 10 incumbents who sit in states that Trump won last November.

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is planning to take his crusade against President Trump's tendency to play fast and loose with the truth to the Senate floor.

The retiring lawmaker told Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep he is planning a series of speeches about the critical importance of facts and truth to American democracy. Flake continues to be one of the few GOP legislators to vigorously speak out against Trump.

One year out from the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats see light ahead while Republicans are being dragged down by President Trump.

Democrats got a huge boost after big wins in Virginia and other states on Tuesday in a repudiation of Trump's victory just one year ago, finally harnessing the backlash against an unpopular president to wins at the ballot box. Now, they must keep that momentum going.

Roy Moore's GOP runoff win in Alabama on Tuesday has only emboldened the anti-establishment wing of the party in its belief that it can knock off other incumbent senators in next year's midterm primaries.

"We're going to war," former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told Politico this week. "This is not a pillow fight, this is a fight fight."

President Trump and his allies aren't exactly running the playbook Republicans want him to ahead of the 2018 midterms. And that could be costly for the GOP at the ballot box next year.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Democratic congressional leaders announced Wednesday that they had reached a deal with President Trump in an Oval Office meeting to pass hurricane relief funding this week, along with measures to push off pressing fiscal deadlines to December — over the apparent objections of Republican leaders.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

With President Trump's announcement on Tuesday that his administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the White House made clear it wants a legislative solution from Congress to protect the roughly 800,000 "DREAMers," who came to the U.S. illegally as children and now could face the possibility of deportation.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

Almost 48 hours after violence engulfed Charlottesville, Va., President Trump called out white nationalist groups by name. Trump's remarks on Monday followed criticism that his initial statement about the clash of protesters did not condemn racist groups specifically.

A majority of Americans believe President Trump has done something either illegal or unethical when it comes to Russia, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

President Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence chiefs to push back against the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported Monday evening.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."