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Elaina Plott

Elaina Plott is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was previously a staff writer at Washingtonian, and a Buckley Fellow at National Review.
Results 1-10 of 16

Ignoring Trump’s Orders, Hoping He’ll Forget

May 15, 2019 On March 29, during a weekend jaunt to Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump announced a major policy decision that surprised top-ranking officials in several government agencies. The United States was cutting off aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, the president said. Never mind that Trump lacked the authority to unilaterally scrap...

Infrastructure Week Became a Joke. Now It’s for Real.

May 3, 2019 Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, Infrastructure Week has come to promise five business days of drama and discussion about almost anything other than infrastructure. With campaign season ramping up, though, that may be about to change. The origins of this story begin on a Friday in June 2017, when...

Infrastructure Week Isn’t a Joke Anymore

May 3, 2019 Two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, Infrastructure Week has come to promise five business days of drama and discussion about almost anything other than infrastructure. With campaign season ramping up, though, that may be about to change. The origins of this story begin on a Friday in June 2017, when...

Trump’s Chief of Staff Is Having a Great Time

April 25, 2019 Here’s the thing, Mick Mulvaney says, sitting in his West Wing office on Wednesday afternoon: He knows that Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t always make good on conservative ideals. He knows that they’re “spending a bunch of money on stuff we’re not supposed to,” and that all the excess doesn’t comport...

Trump’s ‘Major’ Border Deal Is No Deal for Democrats

January 20, 2019 The 29th day of the partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, has been virtually indistinguishable from the first. On Saturday, President Donald Trump entered the Diplomatic Reception Room in the White House to reveal the “major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border” he had teased...

Trump's Chief Advocate on Capitol Hill Has Somehow Survived

January 16, 2019 The ongoing government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, has crystallized for many Americans that Washington skews more “day-care center” than “center of the free world.” And as Republicans and Democrats alike address the furlough with all the sophistication of a playground brawl—dropping f-bombs, throwing “temper tantrums,” and snubbing lunch...

Analysis: Why Mike Pence Couldn’t End the Shutdown

January 8, 2019 Mike Pence was set up to fail. It seemed that way a lot over the past three weeks. In the days ahead of the federal funding deadline in December, it was the vice president who told Senate Republicans that the president would back a short-term spending bill to keep the...

Trump Picks a Washington Insider as His Next Attorney General

December 7, 2018 In a White House unsettled by the ongoing Russia probe—and unprepared for its conclusion—the president on Friday signaled a solution to at least one of the many problems before him: who would permanently replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Heading to Marine One on the South Lawn, Donald Trump said...

The White House Has No Plan for Confronting the Mueller Report

December 6, 2018 Nobody knows how the White House plans to respond to the Mueller report—including the people who work at the White House. The special counsel is reportedly nearing the end of his probe. Sentencing memos are dropping. Plea deals are being struck. The president’s legal team expects a response to his...

President George H. W. Bush’s Capitol Rotunda Ceremony Offers a Glimpse of Grace

December 4, 2018 The ceremony for the late president began at the Capitol as the sun set. A military guard carried his American-flag-draped casket into the Rotunda, where current and former lawmakers, Cabinet officials, Supreme Court justices, and his family stood waiting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the opening eulogy for George...