Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead editor for politics and digital audience. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs political coverage across the network's broadcast and digital platforms.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and has taught high-school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a die-hard Mets fan and college-basketball junkie.

Updated at 9:48 p.m. ET

The White House issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on Thursday: Vote for the current GOP health care replacement plan or leave the Affordable Care Act in place and suffer the political consequences.

Donald Trump likes to move fast.

But to this point, for all the bravado, executive actions and tweets, much of Trump's presidency has been showy without a lot of practical effect. For that to change, much could depend on the next three weeks. This critical phase could set his ambitious agenda on course or derail it.

It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

For more than a year, Donald Trump has harped on white nostalgia.

A hearkening back to a rosy, but ambiguous, time in American history with his Make America Great Again slogan propelled his presidential run. It was a message, though, largely not embraced in minority communities, given that blacks, Latinos and women were fighting for equal rights during the same period Trump has indicated he believes America was great (the Industrial Revolution and the post-World War II 1940s and '50s).

It was almost a year ago when then-candidate Donald Trump said the following (bolding ours):

"My wife is constantly saying, 'Darling, be more presidential.' I just don't know that I want to do it quite yet ... because we have a job to do. ... And we're doing so good. And we have to be tough for a little while. And I'll be — at some point, I'm going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored."

President Trump is receiving plaudits for his first joint address to Congress.

The White House certainly thinks it went well — so much so, it was reported that the White House is holding its revised travel ban, in part, to bask in the glow of the positive reviews.

Snap polls after the speech showed that people who watched it largely liked it.

It's a fascinating thing to watch activists in both American political parties grapple with a way forward in the Trump era.

Conservatives gathered outside Washington last week at a convention, the Conservative Political Action Conference, which had been a home for libertarians in recent years. The CPAC annual presidential straw poll has been dominated by people with the last name Paul over the last decade.

3:23 p.m. ET: Perez wins DNC chairmanship, names Ellison deputy

Former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez won the DNC chairmanship on second round.

It was met by protest from about a dozen Keith Ellison supporters, who chanted, repeatedly, "Not big money, party for the people."

They were shushed and overshouted.

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President Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, struck a defiant tone in brief remarks before conservative activists at a political conference outside Washington, D.C., on Thursday. But she held back on the administration's rescinding of Obama administration guidance to schools on transgender rights.

Richard Spencer, a white nationalist, was kicked out of the hotel where the Conservative Political Action Conference is taking place, a CPAC spokesman confirmed to NPR.

Spencer was spotted in the lobby of the Gaylord National Resort outside Washington, D.C., talking with reporters. That's when CPAC officials were alerted to Spencer's presence.

"His views are repugnant and have absolutely nothing to do with conservatism or what we do here," said CPAC spokesman Ian Walters.

Spencer purchased a general admission pass Thursday morning, Walters said.

If Michael Flynn, President Trump's former national security adviser, was trying to reassure the Russian ambassador about sanctions leveled by the Obama administration, then he may have broken the law.

Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET Feb. 14

President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night amid allegations he inappropriately talked about U.S. sanctions with a Russian official, and later allegedly misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about the conversations. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador in December, before Trump was inaugurated.

President Trump is defending the Jan. 29 Yemen raid, in which an American Navy SEAL was killed, as a "winning mission." He is also lashing out at Republican Sen. John McCain, who called the raid a "failure."

Trump chastised McCain for talking to the media about it, saying it "only emboldens the enemy," and whacked McCain for not knowing "how to win anymore."

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