Barbara Sprunt | KGOU
KGOU

Barbara Sprunt

Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.

President Trump vowed via Twitter on Tuesday morning that anyone who vandalizes "any monument, statue or other such federal property" will be arrested and face up to 10 years in prison, citing a little-known 2003 piece of legislation.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Fresh off a rally in Tulsa, Okla., in which nearly two-thirds of the arena was empty, President Trump on Tuesday addressed a crowd of student supporters at a tightly packed megachurch in Phoenix, amid the state's growing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The White House is scaling back temperature checks for those entering the complex as tents stationed along the north entrance to the building for conducting screenings were removed Monday morning.

White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the move follows Washington, D.C.'s entry into phase two of reopening.

Updated at 6:33 p.m. ET

With anxieties over the coronavirus and tensions over race looming large, President Trump remains on track to hit the campaign trail Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., as he prepares to rally supporters for the first time since the pandemic took root widely across the country three months ago.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., gave an emotional speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, commemorating the five-year anniversary of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in his home state and lambasting a Democratic colleague for referring to his police reform bill as "token" legislation.

The House has scheduled a vote next week on a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, marking the first time since 1993 that Congress will have voted on the issue.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the June 26 vote alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and D.C. officials on Tuesday morning.

The White House and Trump campaign are defending a decision to hold a rally next week in a city that was home to one of the most brutal episodes of racial violence in the country's history, on Juneteenth — a day considered to be Independence Day for black Americans.

The rally, scheduled for June 19 in Tulsa, Okla., marks President Trump's official return to the campaign trail after the coronavirus shifted campaigning to the virtual realm.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Philonise Floyd laid bare his anguish over the death of his brother George at the hands of police as he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

House and Senate Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation Monday to overhaul policing in the U.S., following weeks of national protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes.

Updated at 8:17 a.m. ET

After years of racist comments that lost him the support of many Republican Party leaders, conservative Iowa Rep. Steve King has lost his bid for reelection to a primary challenge by GOP state Sen. Randy Feenstra.

In his first in-person campaign event in more than two months, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden met Monday with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in his hometown to address the outrage and protests surrounding George Floyd's death.

Protests have erupted in dozens of cities over the past week since Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer was seen on video with his knee on Floyd's neck for minutes on end.

President Trump held an Oval Office ceremony Friday to sign the 2020 Armed Forces Day Proclamation and unveil the official flag of the Space Force, the newest military branch.

Standing alongside senior leaders of the military, Trump called the unfurling a "very special moment."

"We've worked very hard on this and it's so important from a defensive standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, from every standpoint there is," Trump said.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his chief primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced on Wednesday the members of a joint task force meant to unify the party ahead of November's general election, bringing together figures from different wings of the party, ranging from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET on May 19

For some members of Congress, an office on Capitol Hill is just, well, an office. But for others, it doubles as their apartment while they live and work in Washington, D.C.

It's a practice Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would like to see permanently banned.

"You know, they sleep on their couches, they then get up in the morning, sneak downstairs [to] the members' gym, shower, change their clothes, and come back up for work," she describes.

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Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

A U.S. military aide who works at the White House has tested positive for the coronavirus, causing concern that the president may have been exposed.

"We were recently notified by the White House medical unit that a member of the United States military, who works on the White House campus, has tested positive for coronavirus," said White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley in a statement.

New York state's Democratic presidential primary is back on after a district court judge granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday to reinstate the contest.

Monday night's Met Gala in New York City may have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn't stop a bold look from appearing on the red carpet. OK, well, it's actually blue carpet.

During a unanimous vote on an agency's inspector general, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., took to the Senate floor while donning a face mask and a vibrant purple wig.

Sinema, whose locks are usually blonde, voted and seemed to identify herself by pointing to her new look, with an expression of, "Yeah, it's me. You knew that, right?"

Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-independent from western Michigan, announced Tuesday evening that he is exploring a third-party bid for the presidency.

The five-term congressman and critic of President Trump said he's launching an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party's nomination.

"We're ready for a presidency that will restore respect for our Constitution and bring people together," Amash wrote on Twitter. "I'm excited and honored to be taking these first steps toward serving Americans of every background as president."

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