Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

Veterans of the Justice Department are waiting with anticipation for President-elect Joe Biden to unveil his choice to serve as attorney general, a decision that has weighty consequences for civil rights and public confidence in the troubled department.

A prospective top Justice Department nominee is expected before Christmas, a transition spokesperson said Monday — a trajectory that would make the person last to be named among the "Big Four" Cabinet offices, together with the leaders of the Treasury, State and Defense departments.

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden plans to name Lloyd Austin, the retired U.S. Army four-star general, as his pick for secretary of defense in his incoming administration, two sources familiar with the decision confirmed to NPR.

Austin joins a growing and diverse list of nominees for Biden's cabinet, which the president-elect has said he wants to reflect the diversity of America. If confirmed, Austin would be the first African American to lead the department.

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former congressman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services, according to a source familiar with transition discussions who is not authorized to speak on the record.

President-elect Joe Biden has tapped former Obama aide Brian Deese as director of the National Economic Council, his top economic adviser at the White House.

Deese helped former President Barack Obama rescue the auto industry during the 2009 economic crisis and played a key role in negotiating the Paris climate accords.

But the pick raised the ire of some progressive groups even before it was made official Thursday because of Deese's work for BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday named seven women to key communications roles in his incoming White House. His transition team says it's the first time in history that the positions will be filled entirely by women.

President Trump this week acknowledged that the transition for President-elect Joe Biden to take office is going ahead. But on Thursday, he made clear he's in no mood to concede the election, even after the Electoral College formally votes this month.

"It's going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud," Trump said, without evidence, complaining that the U.S. election was "like a Third World country."

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President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to name a second high-level climate position in the White House, a counterpart to his diplomatic climate envoy John Kerry, to ramp up action dramatically at home.

Updated at 9:36 p.m. ET

The White House has given its blessing for President-elect Joe Biden to receive the summary of intelligence reports contained in the presidential daily brief that President Trump receives, according to a White House official and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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In the two weeks since it became clear that President Trump lost the election to Joe Biden — a period bookended by befuddling press conferences from his longtime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — the president has made it clear that he will spend his remaining days in the White House in the same way he spent much of his term in office: fighting.

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President Trump has been unusually silent since he lost the election. It's been more than a week since he's spoken publicly.

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President-elect Joe Biden says President Trump's refusal to accept the outcome of the election is not affecting his transition plans.

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In the hours before President Trump began to realize that he may not get to "Make America Great Again, Again," the former reality television star who stunned the world in 2016 with his improbable leap to the White House allowed for a moment of candor.

"You know, winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me, it's not," Trump told reporters on Election Day, his voice hoarse from an unforgiving three-week marathon of rallies.

Now, the world is seeing just how difficult it is for a man who built his brand on winning to lose.

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Updated at 4 a.m. ET

The 2020 presidential election remained up in the air early Wednesday after tight races, strong turnout and record amounts of mail-in voting left millions of legitimate votes still to be counted, and races in six key states too close to call.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden urged patience until "every vote is counted," but President Trump railed against the extra time required to count the ballots, falsely accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election from him.

Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's closest aides, threw up her hands up into the shape of a "Y" as she danced her way back to the stairs of Air Force One.

Grinning to her left was Trump campaign adviser David Bossie, who was breaking out the same moves — albeit with less precision — as the disco beat for the Village People anthem "YMCA" pounded over the sound system on the tarmac in Pensacola, Fla.

President Trump is racing from tarmac to tarmac in the final weeks of the campaign, holding large rallies to blast out an array of closing arguments — buckshot style — for a second term in office.

So far, most of the stops have been in swing states — Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada. But he has also held rallies in Iowa and Georgia, states he won easily in 2016 in a sign the electoral map has shifted on him.

President Trump tried out a new message for seniors on the campaign trail on Friday — an important bloc of voters who have given him poor marks for how he has handled the coronavirus.

Trump, who has consistently downplayed the threat and the impact of the pandemic, delivered his most empathetic speech to date in prepared remarks in Florida, a swing state critical to his frenzied homestretch push for a second term in office.

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President Trump is back on the campaign trail. He held a rally in Sanford, Fla., last night, just a week after he was released from the hospital for COVID-19.

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The White House is struggling on Monday to show that it has a burgeoning public health and political crisis under control as President Trump enters his third day of aggressive and experimental treatment for the coronavirus.

Vice President Pence has tested negative for the coronavirus, a spokesman says, after President Trump announced his own positive test.

Devin O'Malley, the vice president's spokesman, told NPR that Pence is tested every day.

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Miguel Arango had just turned 18 when he voted for Barack Obama in 2012.

Four years later, he was a passionate supporter of Bernie Sanders, but opted for a third-party candidate in the 2016 general election.

"I was not going to vote for Trump either," he said. "I thought all these things about him — that he was this, he was that. And slowly it started transitioning."

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When Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the Republican National Convention from Baltimore's Fort McHenry on Wednesday, he will aim to leverage his conservative bona fides to make the case that President Trump is a stronger choice for the economy and law and order than his Democratic opponent.

It's the kind of message this loyal wing man has hammered home time and again with evangelical Christians, social conservatives and mainstream Republicans who have become part of the voting base for Trump, a former reality star and real estate developer.

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The Trump administration's decision to entrust $765 million of taxpayer money to Eastman Kodak raised several questions about the financial vetting of the struggling camera company even before the deal was put on hold amid an investigation into potential insider trading.

President Trump tapped into the emotions and nostalgia of a bygone era, charging that Kodak would lead U.S. efforts to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.

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