Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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At his White House news conference this week, President Trump painted a grim picture of the challenges facing the country.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess.

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So far, President Trump has tried to run the White House much the way he ran his family business. That means little rigid organization and a skeleton crew of loyal, but not necessarily experienced, staffers.

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And now for reaction from the White House, we turn to NPR's Scott Horsley, who's there. Scott, tell us about the administration's reaction tonight.

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President Trump is promising a concerted effort to destroy ISIS. And today, the president spoke to service members at the center of that fight when he visited MacDill Air Force Base, home to the U.S. Central Command in Florida.

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Next Friday, the Labor Department will issue its first jobs and unemployment report of Donald Trump's presidency. Forecasters expect little change in the jobless rate, which was 4.7 percent in December. That's down from 10 percent during the depths of the recession in late 2009.

Trump repeatedly claimed during the campaign that the federal government was understating the real unemployment rate.

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Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is considering alternative ways to pay for the border wall, backtracking on the president's oft-repeated promise that Mexico would foot the bill.

A White House spokesman said one idea taking shape is to apply a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, as well as other countries with which the U.S. has a trade deficit. That would effectively saddle U.S. consumers with a significant portion of the wall's cost, estimated at $15 billion or more.

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President Trump signed paperwork today formally pulling the U.S. out of a 12-nation trade deal that the Obama administration had negotiated.

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President Trump began his first full workweek in the White House by hosting a breakfast "listening session" with business executives. In his opening remarks, Trump largely stuck to traditional Republican themes of lower taxes and reduced regulation.

But he also reiterated his threat to impose a border tax on companies that move jobs overseas — a plan with little support from the president's fellow Republicans in Congress. Trump said he hopes to hold similar meetings with business leaders on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly.

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Washington D.C.'s National Cathedral hosted a prayer service this morning for the nation's new president and vice president.

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UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing) (Unintelligible).

President-elect Donald Trump plans to hit the ground running. He could sign his first executive orders within hours of taking the oath of office.

"I've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on Day 1 to restore our laws and bring back our jobs," Trump said in a videotaped message in November. "It's about time."

Vice President-elect Mike Pence echoed that message in a meeting with reporters on Thursday.

"Our job is to be ready on Day 1," Pence said. "We are all ready to go to work."

The incoming president has promised to:

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Going into yesterday's press conference with Donald Trump, there were all kinds of questions about the president-elect's potential conflicts of interest. This morning, there are still questions.

President Obama will address the nation for what's likely to be the last time Tuesday night. He says the prime-time address from his adopted hometown of Chicago will be a chance to celebrate the successes of the past eight years and to offer some thoughts on where the nation goes from here.

Michelle Obama used her last official White House speech to deliver a passionate pep talk to the nation's young people, especially immigrants, Muslims and others who might feel slighted by the incoming Trump administration.

"Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don't matter," the first lady said, "or like you don't have a place in our American story, because you do."

On a cold night in January nine years ago, Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses. That first big step on the young senator's unlikely path to the White House was fueled by an army of campaign volunteers, which Obama later called one of his proudest legacies.

"That's what America needs right now," Obama told campaign workers a year later, after he was sworn in as president. "Active citizens like you, who are willing to turn towards each other, talk to people you've never met, and say, 'C'mon, let's go do this. Let's go change the world.' "

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House.

President Obama meets with Democrats on Capitol Hill today, looking for ways to preserve his signature health care law in the face of stiff Republican opposition.

The Affordable Care Act is on the chopping block, likely to be one of the first casualties when President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month.

"We will repeal the disaster known as 'Obamacare' and create new health care — all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family," Trump promised in Florida last week.

Before that happens, President Obama and his aides want to put a marker down on what they see as the law's accomplishments over the last six years.

President-elect Donald Trump is rounding out his White House team — installing several trusted campaign advisers to senior West Wing positions.

Kellyanne Conway will serve as counselor to the president, the transition team announced on Thursday. Sean Spicer will be press secretary, and Jason Miller has been named director of communications.

President-elect Donald Trump is adding another billionaire to the top ranks of his administration.

Trump plans to nominate a wealthy financial executive, Vincent Viola, to be secretary of the Army. Viola would be at least the fourth Trump nominee with a net worth in the billions. And that's not counting Trump's own 10-figure fortune.

As President Obama prepares to leave office, 45 percent of Americans think he'll be remembered as an outstanding or above-average president, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

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Let's talk next about President-elect Trump's choice for secretary of energy. Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, is that choice. And NPR's Scott Horsley is here to talk about it. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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President-elect Donald Trump's latest Twitter target is a local union official who questioned the billionaire's account of how many jobs he saved at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis.

Trump has previously used social media to browbeat companies that move jobs offshore as well as entertainers whose acts he finds tiresome.

On Wednesday, Trump took aim at Chuck Jones, president of the United Steelworkers Local 1999.

Trump wrote on Twitter that Jones "has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"

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