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Ayesha Rascoe

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Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

In the final days ahead of potentially pivotal midterm elections, activists are working to get voters to the polls who ordinarily might not show up when the presidency doesn't hang in the balance.

Donors have poured millions of dollars into efforts to turn out more African-Americans, Hispanics and young people for the 2018 elections.

With early voting under way in many states, there are signs that these efforts may be paying off.

With the nation reeling from an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that is aimed at helping people overcome addiction and preventing addictions before they start.

"Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," Trump said at a White House event celebrating the signing. "We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem."

The opioid legislation was a rarity for this Congress, getting overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.

Entering the White House as a foreign policy novice, Jared Kushner has leaned on his personal rapport with foreign government leaders to help push the Trump administration's goals.

Before joining the White House, Kushner was a real estate investor in New York City, where personal relationships can help cement deals. But that approach is now being put to the test in light of the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Turkey more than two weeks ago.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

It was surreal moment even for a White House accustomed to surreal moments.

During a meeting with President Trump, Kanye West delivered animated and wide-ranging remarks on issues from the 13th Amendment to U.S. manufacturing.

President Trump says the fight over his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is about more than just the nation's highest court. He says it's about how America treats the accused.

Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct decades ago, allegations he adamantly denies.

Trump tweeted Thursday that "Due Process, Fairness and Common Sense are now on trial!"

Central Park Five case

But Trump has not always been such a staunch defender of due process.

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When President Trump delivers his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, one phrase is unlikely to show up: "rocket man."

A lot has changed since Trump used that derisive nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his address at the U.N. last year — remarks where he also said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary.

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President Trump today forcefully defended his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination is currently in a state of uncertainty. Kavanaugh faces an accusation of sexual assault from decades ago when he was a teenager.

Facing pressure from lawmakers to beef up election security, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that would impose sanctions on any foreign person or country that attempts to interfere in U.S. elections.

The move follows repeated criticism of the White House response to Russian-backed interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The new order sets up a framework for intelligence agencies to investigate whether foreign actors are attempting to influence any aspect of the electoral process.

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President Trump marked the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Shanksville, Pa. He delivered solemn remarks celebrating the bravery of the passengers and crew members who lost their lives on Flight 93. NPR's Ayesha Rascoe reports.

The United States will retaliate against the International Criminal Court if it attempts to prosecute any Americans over actions taken in Afghanistan, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said Monday.

The prosecutor for the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, called for an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have been engaged in conflict for nearly 17 years.

President Trump is known for throwing around insults, but his clashes with high-profile African-Americans this summer renewed focus on the language Trump uses to speak to and about black people.

NPR examined Trump's Twitter feed between June 1 and Labor Day. It provided a snapshot of a president who directs venomous tirades at black public figures who bash him, while singling out black celebrities who support him for praise.

During those three months, Trump tweeted almost 900 times about everything from tariffs to North Korea.

The White House slammed a newspaper essay on Wednesday attributed to an anonymous administration official that criticized President Trump and suggested that aides have discussed ways to try to remove him from office.

Trump and others blasted The New York Times after the newspaper ran what it said was a column written by someone within the president's administration who called into question his judgment and vowed to block some of his wishes.

In a highly unusual situation, the author was identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration."

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

White House staff concerned about President Trump's leadership have hidden documents from him to prevent him from signing off on certain actions, according to reports about an explosive new book from renowned Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward.

Woodward's latest book, Fear, is focused on the Trump White House and is set to be officially released on Sept. 11.

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Updated at 1:14 a.m. ET Sunday

It's not uncommon for President Donald Trump to make statements that draw controversy.

But the backlash he faced a year ago over his response to a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., was unusual even for him.

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GDP numbers are out this morning. And they are good news for the Trump administration. President Trump is speaking at this moment outside the White House, touting the success, he claims, of his economic policies. Let's listen in.

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Updated at 6:51 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was met with hostility and skepticism by some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday in the wake of President Trump's summit last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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It was a pretty riveting final act to a head-spinning week. Three of the Trump administration's most senior officials separately and publicly outlined concerns or actions that diverged from their boss.

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Let's turn now to the latest in Helsinki, Finland, where President Trump and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, have gone into a meeting. They spoke to reporters just before, and this is what President Trump had to say.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think we have great opportunities together as two countries that - frankly, we have not been getting along very well. Let's turn to NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe, who is in Helsinki this morning.

Ayesha, good morning.

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President Trump sure sounded upbeat in Brussels this morning as he was leaving the NATO summit there. He said NATO countries had agreed to his demands to up their military spending.

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NATO leaders are hoping their summit in Brussels this week will not suffer the same fate as last month's Group of 7 meeting, which unraveled over trade disputes with President Trump.

"They are still licking their wounds from what happened at the G-7," said Julie Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. "They're looking for an opportunity to kind of put forward a counter-narrative that the trans-Atlantic partners are united."

But with tensions still running high between the U.S. and its allies, unity may be hard to come by.

Advocates for prisoners from several groups tell NPR that White House officials have privately asked them for potential candidates for clemency, and they have offered dozens of names.

The outreach came in the wake of President Trump's recent spate of pardons and commutations — most of which were granted to public figures or individuals who had received a lot of media attention.

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