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Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

President Trump will use the power of his office to empower students who want to pray in their schools — and remind public schools they risk losing federal funds if they violate their students' rights to religious expression.

He will host a group of students from Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths in the Oval Office to commemorate National Religious Freedom Day on Thursday. Each of them has suffered discrimination for practicing their religion at school, officials said.

President Trump is finalizing his defense team for his Senate impeachment trial as the process draws nearer.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway outlined the leadership of the team on Friday while also teasing that more changes could come.

"We're ready for it," Conway said. "We have a defense team in place. And our defense team will go on offense also."

President Trump's national security adviser said tensions with Iran won't slow his plans to shrink the size of the National Security Council.

In an exclusive interview with NPR, Robert O'Brien said he expects to have trimmed about a third of the ranks at the National Security Council by the end of next month.

President Trump and his Russian counterpart have the coming year to deal with an expiring nuclear treaty that will lapse just after the end of his first term.

Trump hasn't ruled out renewing the treaty, known as New START. But he has made it clear that he would rather strike a bigger deal that includes different kinds of nuclear weapons — and that also brings China into the fold.

President Trump has often surrounded himself with lawyers whom he sees as being good on television. But Pat Cipollone, the attorney who will play a leading role in Trump's Senate impeachment trial defense, is better known for working behind the scenes.

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