AUTHOR ARCHIVES

David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.
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Alexander Acosta is Trump's New Pick for Secretary of Labor

February 16, 2017 President Trump announced Thursday he is nominating Alexander Acosta as secretary of labor, moving fast to bounce back from Andrew Puzder’s failed nomination. Acosta, the son of Cuban immigrants, is an experienced former government employee, having served on the National Labor Relations Board, led the civil-rights division of the Justice...

Are Leakers Defending Democracy or Corroding It?

February 16, 2017 To paraphrase presidential candidate Donald Trump, somebody’s doing the leaking. But who, and why, and does it represent a defense of American democratic norms or a death knell for them? There’s no shortage of theories. Some of the damaging leaks are emerging from the White House, as part of internecine...

Did Trump Aides Speak With Russian Intelligence Before the Election?

February 15, 2017 If the leaks that doomed Michael Flynn were a signal from the intelligence community, perhaps the message they intended to carry was: You ain’t seen nothing yet. The national security adviser’s abrupt resignation Monday night, which the White House says was a firing, came after it became clear that Flynn...

Five Questions Raised by Michael Flynn's Abrupt Departure

February 14, 2017 An abrupt resignation, like Michael Flynn’s announcement Monday night that he would leave his post as national security adviser, is a beginning masquerading as a conclusion. His departure resolves one straightforward question—Can Flynn survive, having admittedly misled the vice president and the American people?—but raises a host of more important,...

Trump's Performative Presidency

February 14, 2017 The most enduring image for the Obama presidency may prove to be the photograph that Pete Souza took of the president and his aides during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. There’s no one reason for that—the moment was historic, the tension is engraved on the faces of the...

How Did the Oroville Dam Crisis Get So Dire?

February 13, 2017 Maybe the Oroville Dam was cursed from the start. In December 1964, three years into the massive barrier’s construction, a huge flood struck the northwest, killing dozens. The dam was nearly overtopped, which could have led to its failure even before it was completed. Instead, the partially completed dam helped...

Trump Reportedly Considering Prominent Neoconservative for No. 2 State Dept. Job

February 6, 2017 Elliott Abrams is reportedly under consideration to be deputy secretary of state—setting up a strange third act for the longtime Republican foreign-policy figure, and a strange No. 2 for the Trump State Department. Politico’s Michael Crowley reports that Abrams is meeting with President Trump on Tuesday, and that Secretary of...

The Obama-Trump Truce Is Already Over

February 3, 2017 It took George W. Bush and Barack Obama a while to warm up to each other. They had many differences—in party, in age, in temperament, in style. Obama had risen to the presidency in part by peddling a harsh critique of Bush’s administration. The relationship grew gradually over time. The...

Are Trump's Generals Mounting a Defense of Democratic Institutions?

January 31, 2017 Just a few weeks ago, progressives were aghast at the number of retired generals Donald Trump was naming to top positions in his administration, worried they were a sign of a nascent military dictatorship. Less than two weeks into his presidency, the generals seem to provide one of the few...

How Many of His 'Day One' Promises Did Trump Fulfill?

January 24, 2017 “On Day One.” The notion of immediately turning the page on policy is a staple of presidential transitions, from Franklin Roosevelt’s “first 100 days” on, but Donald Trump made the promise of things he’d get done on his first day in the White House into a special mantra throughout the...

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