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

Updated at 2:55 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.

Top election officials from across the country grappled with a delicate question this weekend: How do you tackle the threat of election interference, and be transparent in doing so, without further eroding the public's trust in the voting process?

"I'm always trying to straddle the line between sounding the alarm on this issue and being alarmist," said Steve Simon, Minnesota's secretary of state.

Heath Hall, who became the Federal Railroad Administration's acting chief in June, resigned Saturday after a Politico report raised questions about whether he was simultaneously working another job.

NPR has confirmed the resignation with the Department of Transportation.

"DOT was unaware of the information that is being reported regarding outside work Heath Hall took on during his time at FRA, but those allegations, if true, are troubling," DOT said in a statement Saturday.

Hillary Clinton responded Tuesday night to revelations that she kept a senior adviser on her campaign staff in 2008, even after the adviser was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate colleague.

"The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't," Clinton wrote online, in a seeming nod to the #MeToo movement of the last year.

President Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night is intended to outline the priorities of the nation, while guests of the president and of lawmakers reflect the political messages each party wants to highlight.

Trump has invited a list of law enforcement and military heroes, a reinforcement of his intended theme of "building a safe, strong and proud America."

If you thought 2016 was bad, just wait for the sequel.

Russian election interference seeped into nearly every aspect of the political landscape two years ago, but many experts are wondering whether upcoming U.S. elections could be worse.

President Trump's reported order last summer to fire Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is all about obstruction of justice — whether it happened, and whether it could be proved.

Updated at 8:10 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either be sent home or have been told to not show up to work at all on Monday, as furloughs due to the government shutdown that began Friday night start to affect workers around the country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gave a foreboding warning from the Senate floor on Sunday.

"The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow," he warned. "A lot worse."

John Tunney, the former U.S. senator who looked briefly like the future of the Democratic Party and whose rise inspired the Robert Redford film, The Candidate, has died, his brother confirmed to NPR on Saturday.

Tunney died of prostate cancer Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 83.

A strange twist of national security politics in Washington, D.C., has meant the United States isn't responding seriously to the ongoing threat of foreign interference, Senate Democrats charged in a new report.

The study, about Russian leader Vladimir Putin's international crusade against democracy, is expansive, at more than 200 pages. It documents Russian offensive efforts in 19 different countries. But what it doesn't include is any optimism that President Trump might act to push back against the Kremlin's aggression.

The story of Russian election interference started long before 2017, but it took on new urgency after the inauguration of Donald Trump, the candidate the Russian government wanted to win.

Despite President Trump dominating the Top 10 political stories on in 2017, he didn't end up atop the perch.

Vice President Pence made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday. It is the first visit to the country by the president or vice president under the Trump administration, and comes four months after Trump unveiled his strategy for the United States' role in the country.

"I bring greetings from your commander in chief," Pence told troops at the Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul. "Before I left the Oval Office yesterday, I asked the president if he had a message for the troops.

"He said, 'Tell them I love them,' " Pence said.

Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET

After a monumental legislative victory on taxes this week, Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to avoid a chaotic government shutdown that could overshadow their signature tax bill before it even gets signed into law.

Pope Francis, in speaking to a group of journalists Saturday, addressed the importance of a free and responsible press while also warning against falling "prey to the sins of communication."

He was speaking to members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies and said that in a field "dominated by the anxiety of speed, by the drive for sensationalism," reliable information is at a premium.

Austria finalized a deal late Friday to make 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz Europe's youngest leader and to form a new governing coalition that will include a far-right party with Nazi roots.

Exactly two months after Austrians went to the polls, Kurz struck a deal to join his conservative Austrian People's Party with the right-wing Freedom Party, led by Heinz-Christian Strache.

The New Year will bring a new test for President Trump and the United States' relationship with Russia.

Five years ago, President Obama signed a bill imposing sanctions on a group of powerful people there charged with involvement in the death of a Russian lawyer who uncovered a $230 million tax fraud scheme — and then died in government custody. The sanctions infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency on Capitol Hill Thursday, speaking publicly for the first time since President Trump denigrated the agency last weekend. The questioning from lawmakers and the responses the new FBI director gave are a harbinger of likely issues to be raised again as the Justice Department's Russia probe appears to be intensifying after the recent plea deal of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

If the saga of Michael Flynn feels like it's been hanging over President Trump's head since Inauguration Day, that's because it has.

The story of how Trump's first national security adviser came to plead guilty to lying to FBI investigators and cooperate in the special counsel's Russia investigation spans two presidential terms and also touches government officials who were subsequently fired by Trump.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference has passed the six-month mark, and President Trump's staff is painting a picture of a process nearing its end.

"We still expect this to conclude soon," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders has told reporters.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau effectively has two leaders right now, which should lead to a confusing Monday morning back from the Thanksgiving holiday — and eventually a battle in court.

Both the departing head of the CFPB, Obama appointee Richard Cordray, and the White House have named interim leaders of an agency that has been engulfed in partisan politics since its inception as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill in 2010.

The agency was created to be a watchdog for consumers when they interact with almost all kinds of financial institutions.

The Egyptian military launched airstrikes on militant hideouts overnight Friday, in response to the horrific mosque attack earlier that day, the deadliest in the country's modern history.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had promised to respond with "brute force" in retaliation for the attack on a village mosque that officials say killed 305 people and wounded more than 128.

The Argentine navy announced evidence Thursday pointing to an explosion occurring near the time and at the location one of its submarines, with 44 crew members aboard, went missing last week.

The news sent families of the crew into tears as they gathered at the Mar del Plata Navy Base, where the sub was originally scheduled to arrive on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

"They haven't come back and they will never come back," said Jesica Gopar, wife of an officer aboard the submarine. "I had a bad feeling about this and now it has been confirmed."

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President Trump spoke to U.S. troops Thursday from his private Florida club Mar-a-Lago, telling them "we're really winning" in the fight against ISIS and in Afghanistan — all thanks to his administration's leadership.

"They say we've made more progress against ISIS than they did in years of the previous administration, and that's because I'm letting you do your job," Trump said, in a video call to branches of the U.S. armed forces.