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Tamara Keith

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As President Trump came to the big finish at a recent rally, his supporters crowded into the Kansas Expocentre shouted along with his 2016 catchphrase. Voices bounced off the walls saying "we will make America great again" as the Rolling Stones swelled through the sound system.

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Now let's bring in NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith to talk about how the president might respond to tonight's developments. Hey there, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi.

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Press secretary Sarah Sanders last walked up to the lectern in the White House press briefing room on Oct. 3 after a 23-day drought. Before that, there had been an 18-day stretch with no briefing.

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And NPR's Tamara Keith has been listening to that conversation. She covers the White House for NPR. Hey there, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Good morning.

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First lady Melania Trump stood at the top of the airplane stairs in Accra, Ghana, smiled broadly and waving. Thus began the first stop of a multiday trip through the African continent that will take Trump to Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt, "four beautiful and very different countries in Africa," she said in recent remarks. It is her first solo foreign trip as first lady.

Drinking beer became such a theme in last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that Saturday Night Live spoofed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's many references to drinking beer with his friends.

But there are serious questions underlying all the focus on beer: whether Kavanaugh was fully forthcoming in his testimony and what his behavior was like when drunk.

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Well, that hearing wrapped just before 7 tonight here in Washington. Throughout, emotions ran high on all sides. NPR's Tamara Keith joins me now from the White House to talk through the day. Hi again, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hello.

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Kavanaugh Lookahead

Sep 25, 2018

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When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced a hearing for next Monday to air a decades-old sexual-assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it didn't end the debate over how the Senate should handle the charges.

It intensified it.

Democrats are calling for a full FBI investigation of the allegation before a hearing, saying Monday is too soon.

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President Trump is defending his Supreme Court nominee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump's response? In short: Nothing to see here.

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When a major hurricane is approaching, you often hear government officials say - everyone, take this one seriously. Well, they're really hitting that message right now, saying Hurricane Florence could truly be different.

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Brett Kavanaugh will have his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. He is of course President Trump's pick to replace retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

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President Trump was bombarded with negative news cycles last month, so he turned to Twitter, venting frustrations and dismissing an increasingly wide variety of things he doesn't like as "fake" or "phony." Presidential tweets about "fake news" aren't new, but August was unique in the sheer frequency of such presidential declarations on Twitter. There were more tweets in August about things Trump labels fake and phony than in any other month of his presidency.

Emmet Flood, the lawyer inside the White House whose job it is to deal with the Russia investigation, is preparing for battle on ground where he is uniquely qualified to fight.

"He is a legal expert on all these issues about subpoenas, presidential privilege, Article II of the Constitution," said Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump's outside lawyers.

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President Trump's soon-departing White House counsel Don McGahn has played a quiet but vital role. He once threatened to resign if President Trump fired a special counsel, for example. NPR's Tamara Keith reports on the White House lawyer who could replace McGahn.

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