Domenico Montanaro | KUNR

Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

Montanaro joined NPR in 2015 and oversaw coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, including for broadcast and digital.

Before joining NPR, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and taught high school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a life-long Mets fan and college basketball junkie.

A rare event happens Tuesday in California. Californians will decide whether Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom should remain in office.

It's just the second recall election in the state to qualify for the ballot, but the second in the past 20 years. That previous recall, in 2003, resulted in actor Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.

Amid the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden's approval rating slid to just 43% in the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

President Biden issued a stern defense Tuesday of his decision to exit Afghanistan. He also hailed the final evacuation — which saw more than 120,000 Americans, Afghans and others airlifted from the country — as an "extraordinary success."

"My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over," Biden said from the White House. He added, "I refuse to continue a war that was no longer in the service of the vital national interest of our people."

For Democrats, getting their historic domestic agenda done was already going to be a tough needle to thread, with a narrowly divided Congress and tensions within the party itself.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

President Biden has resolutely defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. In an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Biden says the chaos surrounding the exit is not surprising.

If there's one thing an American president doesn't want to see, it's the kind of pictures that have played out on cable news of the chaos in Kabul — crowded runways of people desperate to get out, with some hanging from the outsides of U.S. cargo planes and, for those lucky enough to get in, crammed on the floor.

The fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan to the Taliban happened faster than almost anyone in Washington — or Kabul — could have imagined.

As of Sunday afternoon, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled his nation, the Taliban were on the verge of once again running the country, and President Biden authorized sending in thousands of additional troops to try and safely extract U.S. diplomatic personnel and others out of Kabul.

The Justice Department is launching an investigation of the Phoenix Police Department over allegations of excessive use of force and homeless abuse.

"When we conduct pattern or practice investigations to determine whether the Constitution or federal law has been violated, our aim is to promote transparency and accountability," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement announcing the investigation Thursday afternoon. "This increases public trust, which in turn increases public safety. We know that law enforcement shares these goals."

Former President Donald Trump is trying to stop his tax returns from being released to Democrats in Congress.

In a motion filed in federal court Wednesday, Trump's lawyers claim the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee's requests are not "valid oversight requests."

Updated August 3, 2021 at 8:11 PM ET

President Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign Tuesday after an explosive new report was released by the New York state attorney general's office on allegations of sexual harassment against the governor.

"I think he should resign," Biden said of his fellow Democrat.

Updated July 27, 2021 at 1:32 PM ET

As pro-Trump insurrectionists poured into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a Black Capitol Police officer passionately testified Tuesday that he faced racist epithets, the likes of which he had never heard while serving in uniform.

"You hear that, guys, this n***** voted for Joe Biden!" a woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled toward Capitol Police Pfc. Harry Dunn, he recounted, after Dunn said he voted for President Biden.

Violent crime is on the rise in urban areas across the country.

Many small cities that typically have relatively few murders are seeing significant increases over last year. Killings in Albuquerque, N.M., Austin, Texas, and Pittsburgh, for example, have about doubled so far in 2021, while Portland, Ore., has had five times as many murders compared to last year, according to data compiled by Jeff Asher, a crime data analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided a major case on voting rights that essentially gutted what's left of the Voting Rights Act.

The court upheld two Arizona laws — one of which banned the collection of absentee ballots by anyone other than a relative or caregiver, otherwise known as "ballot harvesting." the other threw out any ballots cast in the wrong precinct.

A majority of Americans believe ensuring access to voting is more important than rooting out fraud, the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey finds.

At the same time, there was broad agreement that people should have to show identification when they go to the polls.

Two-thirds of Americans also believe democracy is "under threat" but likely for very different reasons.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Normal is not easily defined.

The past 15 months, though, have certainly been anything but.

Americans are starting to believe a "sense of normal" is approaching fairly soon, however, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey. The poll also found that with the coronavirus receding in this country, mask-wearing is declining and Americans are going out more. But they remain cautious about being in large crowds.

Updated June 26, 2021 at 10:15 PM ET

As former President Donald Trump steadily ramps up public events, he held his first rally since leaving office on Saturday night in Ohio.

"We're gonna take back the House, we're gonna take back the Senate," Trump said, speaking before a crowd of thousands at a fairground in Wellington, a town southwest of Cleveland, in a county and state he won in 2020. "My fellow Americans, our movement is far from over. In fact, our fight has only just begun."

The country will narrowly miss President Biden's goal of having 70% of the U.S. adult population at least partially vaccinated by July 4, according to a White House official who did not want to get ahead of the public announcement.

But the official also noted that 70% of those 30 and older have already been vaccinated a week and a half ahead of Independence Day and that those 27 and older are expected to also reach the 70% mark by July 4.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 4:05 PM ET

An important election takes place Tuesday in New York City.

But beyond who wins the mayoral primaries there, what happens could have consequences for how millions of Americans vote in the future.

Updated June 9, 2021 at 4:22 PM ET

The U.S. Park Police did not clear protesters from a park outside the White House so then-President Donald Trump could take a photo-op at a nearby church, an Interior Department inspector general's report found.

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