Tamara Keith

President Trump has recently taken a series of what appear to be bold executive actions to reverse Obama-era policies: declining to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal, halting subsidy payments to insurance companies and setting an expiration date for the DACA immigration program. But, in so doing, he's dumping thorny problems on a GOP-controlled Congress already struggling to rack up significant legislative accomplishments.

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With President Trump's announcement that he plans to nominate Kirstjen Nielsen as homeland security secretary, he still has one more Cabinet post to fill — health and human services secretary. A president having to find replacements for two Cabinet secretaries this early in an administration is unprecedented. But observers are more alarmed by the less visible vacancies at the sub-Cabinet level: hundreds of positions without a nominee, and a president who says he has no intention of filling many of the jobs.

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And President Trump was here today meeting with first responders and survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith is traveling with the president, and she's with us now. Hey, Tam.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is asking the White House for a list of aides who have used private email accounts for official business.

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Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET

A day after meeting with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., to discuss improving race relations, policy issues of specific concern to communities of color and Scott's pointed criticism of President Trump after his comments in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Trump is standing by those remarks.

Hillary Clinton's final campaign for office ended in a shocking defeat. But she isn't going quietly into the night.

"I think the country's at risk, and I'm trying to sound the alarm so more people will at least pay attention," Clinton told NPR.

That said, her career as a candidate is over.

"I'm done. I'm not running for office," Clinton said. But for those, including Democrats, who would like her to just go away? "Well, they're going to be disappointed," she said.

If you Google interim White House communications director Hope Hicks, you'll find plenty of articles referencing her youth (she's 28), her time as a model and her work in corporate public relations for Ivanka Trump's brand.

But people who know her say if that's all you hear, you'll conjure up an incomplete image of Hicks.

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The interim communications director at the White House has been notably quiet. That's by design. Hope Hicks took the job almost 10 days ago. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has this profile.

Updated at 11:55 p.m. ET

President Trump launched into a lengthy defense of his comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and again derided the news media at an impassioned campaign rally in Phoenix.

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There is one phrase Vice President Pence is almost guaranteed to deliver on his six-day trip to Latin America that begins Sunday: "The president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump, sent me here with a simple message." Pence delivers a variation on that line almost everywhere he goes from the middle of America to Asia and beyond.

Stephen Miller stood at the lectern in the White House press briefing room wearing his trademark skinny suit and tie and engaged in the kind of verbal combat he has been perfecting since high school.

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And, David, the president's going on vacation today. It is August after all. But he - before he took off, he got one more campaign-style rally in - right? - this time in West Virginia.

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Vice President Mike Pence has been offering some reassurance to Eastern European countries this week. He's wrapping up a trip to Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro, some of the countries that feel most threatened by Russia. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

Vice President Pence is completing a trip to U.S. allies along the eastern edge of Europe. In Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro, he told local governments that Washington would support them — even after President Trump's many calls for improving ties between the U.S. and Russia.

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One of President Trump's newer aides, Anthony Scaramucci, said the other day that President Trump is not going to change. So that leads to a question. How much can the newest staffer, John Kelly, really change?

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