Ayesha Rascoe

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House reporter for NPR. In her current role, she covers breaking news and policy developments from the White House. Rascoe also travels and reports on many of President Trump's foreign trips, including his 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and his 2018 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.

Prior to joining NPR, Rascoe covered the White House for Reuters, chronicling President Barack Obama's final year in office and the beginning days of the Trump administration. Rascoe began her reporting career at Reuters, covering energy and environmental policy news, such as the 2010 BP oil spill and the U.S. response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011. She also spent a year covering energy legal issues and court cases.

She graduated from Howard University in 2007 with a B.A. in journalism.

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GDP numbers are out this morning. And they are good news for the Trump administration. President Trump is speaking at this moment outside the White House, touting the success, he claims, of his economic policies. Let's listen in.

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Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was met with hostility and skepticism by some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday in the wake of President Trump's summit last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Let's turn now to the latest in Helsinki, Finland, where President Trump and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, have gone into a meeting. They spoke to reporters just before, and this is what President Trump had to say.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that - frankly, we have not been getting along very well. Let's turn to NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, who is in Helsinki this morning.

Ayesha, good morning.

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President Trump sure sounded upbeat in Brussels this morning as he was leaving the NATO summit there. He said NATO countries had agreed to his demands to up their military spending.

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NATO leaders are hoping their summit in Brussels this week will not suffer the same fate as last month's Group of 7 meeting, which unraveled over trade disputes with President Trump.

"They are still licking their wounds from what happened at the G-7," said Julie Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. "They're looking for an opportunity to kind of put forward a counter-narrative that the trans-Atlantic partners are united."

But with tensions still running high between the U.S. and its allies, unity may be hard to come by.

Advocates for prisoners from several groups tell NPR that White House officials have privately asked them for potential candidates for clemency, and they have offered dozens of names.

The outreach came in the wake of President Trump's recent spate of pardons and commutations — most of which were granted to public figures or individuals who had received a lot of media attention.

Updated 11:45 a.m. ET

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un heads a brutally oppressive regime. But since meeting face-to-face with Kim, President Donald Trump has had kind words for the dictator.

President Trump is heading to Canada for the G-7 summit on Friday. The weather is expected to be mild, but he is likely to get a frosty reception from the other world leaders in the group.

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Updated at 7: 40 p.m. ET

President Trump commuted the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who had been in federal prison for more than 20 years for a first-time drug conviction. Johnson was released hours later

Trump granted Johnson clemency after reality TV star Kim Kardashian West lobbied for her release during a visit to the White House.

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Updated at 7:27 p.m. ET

Kim Kardashian West met with President Trump at the White House Wednesday, as the reality star seeks freedom for a great-grandmother serving a life sentence in federal prison.

Kardashian West has been pushing for the release of Alice Marie Johnson since she heard Johnson tell her story on news website Mic.

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