Ayesha Rascoe

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House reporter for NPR.

Prior to joining NPR, she 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, including 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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Updated at 1:14 a.m. ET Sunday

It's not uncommon for President Donald Trump to make statements that draw controversy.

But the backlash he faced a year ago over his response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., was unusual even for him.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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.

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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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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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.

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