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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It was a pretty riveting final act to a head-spinning week. Three of the Trump administration's most senior officials separately and publicly outlined concerns or actions that diverged from their boss.

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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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President Trump is meeting with allies again this morning. This is the second day of the NATO summit in Brussels.

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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.

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