Roberta Rampton

Roberta Rampton is NPR's White House editor. She joined the Washington Desk in October 2019 after spending more than six years as a White House correspondent for Reuters. Rampton traveled around America and to more than 20 countries covering President Trump, President Obama and their vice presidents, reporting on a broad range of political, economic and foreign policy topics. Earlier in her career, Rampton covered energy and agriculture policy.

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.

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.

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.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday dismissed complaints from a former aide to the White House coronavirus task force as coming from a disgruntled staffer who had been dismissed with cause.

Follow NPR's coverage of the RNC all week at NPR.org/conventions.

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it plans to give a $765 million loan to Eastman Kodak – which has struggled to survive after digital cameras displaced its once-ubiquitous camera film – so the company can manufacture ingredients used in pharmaceuticals.

President Trump on Monday rejected calls to disband or defund police departments as a response to massive protests against police brutality, sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by police.

"Sometimes you'll see some horrible things, like we witnessed recently," Trump said. "Ninety-nine percent of them are great, great people."

"The police are doing an incredible job," Trump said, citing crime statistics. "We're going to talk about ideas how we can do it better and how we can do it if possible in a much more gentle fashion."

Updated at 10:20 p.m. ET

President Trump on Monday revealed to reporters that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc to protect against the coronavirus.

"I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this," the president told reporters, volunteering the information at the end of a roundtable with restaurant owners.

Trump said he asked his doctor about taking it after hearing from people who had done so. "Here's my evidence — I get a lot of positive calls about it," he said.

Updated at 4:59 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat hospitalized patients with the coronavirus, President Trump on Friday told reporters at the White House.

Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day said remdesivir maker Gilead Sciences is donating 1.5 million vials of the drug and will work with the federal government to distribute it to patients in need.

Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET

Kayleigh McEnany did something on Friday that her predecessor at the White House never once did: She briefed reporters from behind the lectern in the cramped confines of the James S. Brady briefing room.

McEnany, President Trump's fourth press secretary, took over the job less than a month ago from Stephanie Grisham, who had chosen to work behind the scenes, saying that Trump was his own best spokesman.

The Trump administration is set to recommend that people who live in areas with high transmission of the coronavirus wear masks in public to avoid further spread of the virus, a White House official tells NPR's Tamara Keith.

Mayors in New York and Los Angeles have already urged people in their cities to use face coverings in public.

President Trump told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that he was waiting for guidance from public health experts on whether people should wear masks in public.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET

The White House disclosed its first case of the coronavirus on Friday night: a person who works in the office of Vice President Pence.

"Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual," Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller said in a statement. She declined to give further details.

"Further contact tracing is being conducted in accordance with CDC guidelines," Miller said.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump announced new coronavirus guidelines for at least the next 15 days, including that Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people.

In a briefing at the White House on Monday, he also urged people to avoid discretionary travel and going out to bars, restaurants and food courts. He recommended that schools close.

The stricter guidelines marked a shift for the president, who has repeatedly stated that the virus is under control.

"Whatever it takes, we're doing," Trump said.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

States hit hardest by the spread of coronavirus will see drive-through and walk-through testing sites set up this week, the White House said on Sunday, a shift that will provide more information about how widely the virus has spread across the country.

The sites each will be able to screen 2,000 to 4,000 people per day, with priority given to health care workers, first responders and people age 65 and older with respiratory symptoms and fevers above 99.6 degrees.

President Trump on Thursday defended new restrictions on travelers from most parts of Europe, a decision that angered allies and trading partners, was questioned by some public health experts and sent stock markets reeling.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET

President Trump proposed $4.4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade in his budget for fiscal year 2021 — a document that is expected to be quickly dismissed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

The proposal included slashing foreign aid by 21%. Budget chief Russell Vought said the White House wants to boost funding for the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation while cutting other types of foreign aid.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET Saturday

President Trump, who has expressed anger about officials who testified in his impeachment inquiry, fired two of them on Friday.

Trump recalled European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and ended the White House National Security Council assignment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.

President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments.

When President Trump's defense team delivers its opening statement in the Senate impeachment trial next week, famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz will have a starring role.

But in an interview with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly on Friday, he sought to make clear that his involvement is limited to arguing that the two articles of impeachment do not satisfy the constitutional criteria for removing the president from office.

President Trump ordered an airstrike on Thursday evening that killed the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, a man he said was "plotting imminent and sinister attacks" against Americans in the region.

Soleimani was the leader of the Quds Force, a covert section of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The White House says he was the mastermind behind attacks on Americans during the past two decades — including two recent attacks.

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last visited the White House, President Trump had just fired his then-FBI director, James Comey. At the time, Trump bragged it would remove pressure related to an investigation into whether his campaign had ties to Moscow. But instead, it had the opposite effect, fanning the political flames over his Russia policy.

Two-and-a-half years later, Lavrov is set to return on Tuesday, and Trump's Russia policy is still very much in the spotlight.