Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon is a reporter covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR's National Desk. During the 2016 election cycle, she was NPR's lead political reporter assigned to the Donald Trump campaign. In that capacity, she was a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast and reported on the GOP primary, the rise of the Trump movement, divisions within the Republican Party over the future of the GOP and the role of religion in those debates; that work earned her a rare invitation inside a closed-door meeting between evangelical leaders and Trump soon after he clinched the nomination.

In addition to politics, McCammon has a special interest in science and health journalism and frequently reports on abortion and reproductive health in her current role.

Prior to joining NPR in 2015, McCammon reported for NPR member stations in Georgia, Iowa, and Nebraska, where she often hosted news magazines and talk shows. She's covered debates over oil pipelines in the Southeast and Midwest, agriculture and environmental issues in Nebraska, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Iowa, and coastal environmental issues in Georgia.

McCammon began her journalism career as a newspaper reporter. She traces her interest in news back to childhood, when she would watch Sunday morning roundtable shows – recorded on the VCR during church – with her father on Sunday afternoons. In 1998, she spent a semester serving as a U.S. Senate Page. She's received numerous regional and national journalism awards, including the Atlanta Press Club's "Excellence in Broadcast Radio Reporting" honor in 2015.

McCammon is a native of Kansas City, Mo., and a proud Midwesterner. She spent a semester studying at Oxford University in the U.K. while completing her undergraduate degree at Trinity College near Chicago.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump is in the flood-soaked Carolinas Wednesday where, under sunny skies, he is getting a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

However, Trump has been heard on a tape with Cohen discussing arranging payment to one of the women.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

As her husband lashed out at his political opponents online, calling them names like "thug" and "hack," Melania Trump was calling for more civility and kindness online Monday morning.

The first lady addressed an annual cyberbullying prevention summit hosted by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md.

President Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump is again speaking out against the separation of children and parents accused of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

At an Axios News Shapers event in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Trump was asked for her thoughts on the separations that occurred as a result of her father's immigration policies.

The interviewer noted that some White House officials saw that as a "low point" in the Trump administration.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is threatening sanctions against Turkey if the U.S. ally does not release an American pastor being held there on accusations of terror and espionage.

At a State Department event on religious freedom Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence called for Brunson's immediate release.

President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several former high-level officials who've criticized him.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders read a list of officials being considered for revocation of their clearances on Monday and said the White House is "exploring the mechanisms" by which the government might take them away.

With the balance of the Supreme Court in question, some abortion-rights advocates are quietly preparing for a future they hope never to see — one without the protections of Roe v. Wade.

Lots of controversial cases at the intersection of religion and the law wind up before the Supreme Court.

And, for most of U.S. history, the court, like the country, was dominated by Protestant Christians. But today, it is predominantly Catholic and Jewish.

It has become more conservative and is about to get even more so with President Trump's expected pick to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is stepping down from the court at the end of July.

Former Fox News co-President Bill Shine has been named White House deputy chief of staff for communications and assistant to the president, the White House announced Thursday.

Updated June 29 at 12:28 p.m. ET

The process of replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is underway, and the prospect of filling the seat held by the court's swing vote is setting the stage for what is likely to be a battle over abortion rights unlike any in a generation.

In the shadow of President Trump's raucous campaign rallies this midterm election season are dozens of quieter campaign events and fundraisers headlined by Vice President Pence.

He's working to get Republicans elected this year, while quietly earning political capital that could help his own future.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

First ladies have a long history of advocating for issues important to them, often issues related to children. But what's unusual is to have all the living former presidents' wives speaking out in one voice.

America's current and former first ladies are pushing back against the Trump administration's practice of separating children from their parents at the border in an effort to curb illegal crossings.

Public opinion on abortion rights is often framed as a binary choice between two political positions, but a closer look at new polling data from Gallup reveals more nuance.

While a majority of Americans support legalized abortion in early pregnancy, most oppose it in the later stages, according to the survey.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET.

President Trump is signaling he's willing to support a move toward the legalization of marijuana, which would be a departure from the position of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Melania Trump waited more than a year before taking a traditional step as first lady, finally unveiling her "Be Best" campaign on May 7. A month later, the initiative itself appears to be off to a slow start.

A newly unveiled Trump administration proposal would not just block groups like Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funds. It also could pave the way for a host of previously ineligible organizations — some of which oppose contraception — to receive funds through the federal government's family planning program.

When targeting his message to white evangelical voters, President Trump has often focused on traditional priorities for social conservatives, such as abortion and religious freedom.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

The Trump administration is reviving a rule that would deny federal family planning funds to organizations that provide abortions or make abortion referrals.

The rule is similar to one in place during the Reagan administration. The proposal was drafted by the Health and Human Services Department and is under review by the White House budget office.

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump is expected to be hospitalized all week after undergoing a surgical procedure to treat a kidney condition.

Communications director Stephanie Grisham tells NPR the first lady is "is doing well." In a statement, she said Trump underwent an embolization procedure on Monday morning to treat a benign kidney condition. She said the procedure was successful and without complications.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The first lady unveiled her policy initiatives today. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, she launched a campaign that's focused on the well-being of children. She's calling it Be Best.

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Updated at 4:31 p.m. ET

Melania Trump often seems like a reluctant first lady. But she stepped into the spotlight this week to take on a very traditional part of the role.

Mrs. Trump unveiled a new initiative Monday, called "Be Best," which she said aims to educate children "about the many issues they are facing today." As President Trump looked on in the Rose Garden, Mrs. Trump outlined the initiative's three pillars: well-being, social media use and opioid abuse. "Children deserve every opportunity to enjoy their innocence," the first lady said.

Melania Trump may be an unconventional first lady, but she will take a traditional step when she outlines a slate of policy initiatives next week focused on the well-being of children.

The first lady's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told NPR the upcoming announcement will focus on several challenges facing American children, among them social media, health, and addiction in communities.

"There are so many issues that children face today," Grisham said, adding that the first lady's initiatives will focus on "equipping children to handle those issues."

Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET

Three national reproductive rights groups are suing the Trump administration, arguing that changes to the federal Title X program will put the health of millions of low-income patients at risk by prioritizing practices such as the rhythm method over comprehensive sexual health services.

A new national poll finds a growing divide between younger and older Americans on abortion and reproductive health care — a shift that may be driven in large part by changing attitudes toward religion.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Abortion-rights advocates are challenging dozens of Mississippi's abortion restrictions in federal court. The state's Republican governor, Phil Bryant, recently signed the most restrictive abortion law in the country, banning abortion after 15 weeks' gestation.

Updated at 10:18 a.m. ET

As allegations continue to swirl about the president and a payout to a porn star to cover up a sexual encounter, evangelical leaders are organizing a sit-down with President Trump in June, four sources with knowledge of the planned meeting tell NPR.

Upon the release of his first album Upon This Rock in 1969, Larry Norman unwittingly created the billion-dollar industry of Christian rock. Author Gregory Alan Thornbury is sure that if Norman were alive today, the musician would have despaired at the state of the genre and evangelicalism.

For Kathy Tran, the decision to breastfeed her daughter on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates was simple.

"I had a baby that was hungry and I needed to feed her," Tran says.

Tran is by all accounts the first Virginia state delegate to breastfeed on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates. Since taking office in January, she's been juggling daycare and feeding schedules around meetings and late-night votes. She often ducks her 13-month-old under a nursing cover and continues on with her business.

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