Miles Parks

Miles Parks is a reporter and producer on NPR's Washington Desk. He covers election interference and voting infrastructure and reports on breaking news.

Miles joined NPR as the 2014-15 Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow. Since then, he's investigated FEMA's efforts to get money back from Superstorm Sandy victims, profiled budding rock stars, and produced for all three of NPR's weekday news magazines.

A graduate of the University of Tampa, Miles also previously covered crime and local government for The Washington Post and The Ledger in Lakeland, Fla.

In his spare time, Miles likes playing, reading and thinking about basketball. He wrote The Washington Post's obituary of legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.

You can contact Miles at mparks@npr.org.

Winter in Wisconsin is tough.

So tough, in fact, that living creatures might go searching for shelter in unlikely places.

House Speaker Paul Ryan explained Thursday that a family of woodchucks moved into his Chevy Suburban recently, eating the wiring and rendering the car useless.

"My car was eaten by animals," Ryan said, to laughs from an audience at an event hosted by The Economic Club of Washington D.C. "It's just dead."

President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, "should cooperate" with prosecutors, and that if he tells the truth, Trump has nothing to worry about.

Giuliani made the television rounds Sunday morning, appearing on three different programs, as speculation grew louder last week that Cohen was inching closer to criminal charges and possibly working out a deal with prosecutors.

"Michael Cohen should cooperate with the government," Giuliani said on ABC's This Week.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump made an unannounced trip to the Southern U.S. border Thursday to visit children who entered the country illegally and see the centers where they are being detained.

The trip comes a day after President Trump signed an executive order ending his controversial policy of family separation for migrant families detained as they're crossing into the U.S. illegally at the Southern border.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general, returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to take questions from lawmakers hoping to put their spin on the report his office released last week.

The nearly 600-page report is a comprehensive look at the Justice Department's handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server in 2016.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray headed to Capitol Hill Monday for a grilling from senators — that quickly turned partisan — about the inspector general's scathing report on the FBI's mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

Updated at 11:23 p.m. ET

After one White House adviser said there was "a special place in hell" for foreign leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and another said Trudeau "stabbed us in the back," Canadian leaders offered a measured — even polite — response.

President Trump says that, on Monday, he will order an investigation into whether the FBI and the Department of Justice "infiltrated or surveilled" his campaign "for political purposes," potentially setting up a showdown between the president and his intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Roger Stone, a longtime adviser of President Trump, complained of partisan behavior by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Sunday, but also speculated that he could be under investigation by Mueller for a crime unrelated to coordinating with Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

"It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime, pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election," Stone said, in an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

When a WWE wrestler, especially one known for his demonic antics and a move called the "tombstone piledriver," runs for mayor of your county, you know your election is going to get more attention than usual.

But in Knox County, Tenn., it wasn't the fact that Glenn Jacobs, also known to wrestling fans as Kane, was running for mayor that gained national attention on the county primary day, May 1.

Two years after Russia's wave of cyberattacks against American democracy, a Senate committee investigating election interference says those hackers hit harder than previously thought in several states.

The committee also added that it still doesn't know with complete certainty exactly how much of U.S. voting infrastructure was compromised.

As America heads toward the 2018 midterms, there is an 800-pound gorilla in the voting booth.

Despite improvements since Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential race, the U.S. elections infrastructure is vulnerable — and will remain so in November.

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier laid out the problem to an overflowing room full of election directors and secretaries of state — people charged with running and securing elections — at a conference at Harvard University this spring.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're about to be in the thick of primary season. Voters are deciding the candidates for November's midterm elections. Four states vote tomorrow, with another four next week.

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. EDT

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen also has been representing Fox News host Sean Hannity, it emerged in federal court on Monday.

Federal judge Kimba Wood ordered an attorney for Cohen to reveal the identity of a client that Cohen's team had withheld in earlier court documents as part of a dispute over evidence seized by the FBI from Cohen's home and office earlier this month.

Updated at 11:55 p.m. ET

Just a few hours before James Comey's first television appearance ahead of his new book's release, President Trump published a string of tweets calling Comey a "slimeball" and saying the notes the former FBI director says he took were "fake."

At an event billed as a roundtable discussion about taxes in West Virginia, President Trump went off script Thursday afternoon, and notably repeated a claim about voter fraud that has repeatedly been proven false.

"In many places, like California, the same person votes many times — you've probably heard about that," Trump said. "They always like to say 'oh that's a conspiracy theory' — not a conspiracy theory folks. Millions and millions of people."

Updated on April 2 at 9:42 a.m. ET

More than 30,000 people are expected for this year's White House Easter Egg Roll, and you can be pretty sure at least one of them will be wearing a terrifying bunny costume.

The tradition of rolling eggs on the White House's South Lawn began 140 years ago, officially dating back to Rutherford B. Hayes's administration.

The massive spending bill President Trump signed into law on Friday includes enough money to replace voting machines that leave no paper trail, a top priority for many election officials and cybersecurity experts. But according to a new analysis, it seems unlikely that's how the money will be spent.

Updated on March 26 at 2:45 p.m. ET

In Stephanie Clifford's much anticipated first television appearance since the story of her alleged affair with President Trump began dominating news cycles, the adult film actress also known as Stormy Daniels shared graphic details and said she signed a nondisclosure agreement to keep quiet about the encounter because she felt threatened.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

Swing states, and even individual precincts within those states, present a significant point of vulnerability when it comes to the threat of election interference because of their potential to impact the result in a presidential race, the current secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and one of her key predecessors both told senators Wednesday.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 3:46 p.m. EDT

State elections officials need more funding and better safeguards against cyberattacks in order to prepare to defend the 2018 midterm elections, according to new Senate intelligence committee recommendations on Tuesday.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans say they still support special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference even as the president continued his offensive Sunday against the investigation, as well as a recently fired high-ranking FBI official, Andrew McCabe.

Trump sent a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, in which he painted the Mueller-led special counsel probe as a politically biased witch hunt.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

The campaign for the leading Democratic candidate for Senate in Tennessee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, said in a letter to the FBI Thursday that it feared it had been hacked.

The potential breach comes as state and federal officials are increasingly worried that enough hasn't been done to improve election security since 2016.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

A former adviser to President Trump sold off $31.3 million in stocks he owned in a steel-dependent company, just days before the president announced hefty tariffs on foreign-made steel.

Less than a week after the Weinstein Co. seemed destined for bankruptcy, a deal emerged for an investment group to buy assets from the troubled firm in order to launch a new movie studio that will be led by women.

The deal, between the Weinstein Co. and a group backed by billionaire Ron Burkle and led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who was in charge of the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, is said to be worth more than $500 million, according to Reuters.

Even as Americans begin voting in the earliest 2018 midterm primaries, the public still doesn't have solid answers about what happened to its election systems in 2016.

Instead it has conflicting accounts and official denials.

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