Author Archive

Isaac Arnsdorf

Reporter

Isaac Arnsdorf covers national politics. His reporting on President Trump's agenda for veterans won the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sidney Award and the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Award, and was an honorable mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting.
Isaac Arnsdorf covers national politics. His reporting on President Trump's agenda for veterans won the Sidney Hillman Foundation's Sidney Award and the National Press Club's Sandy Hume Award, and was an honorable mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting.
Management

Capitol Rioters Planned for Weeks in Plain Sight. The Police Weren’t Ready.

Insurrectionists made no effort to hide their intentions, but law enforcement protecting Congress was caught flat-footed.

Oversight

Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20

The Trump administration is rushing to approve dozens of eleventh-hour policy changes. Among them: The Justice Department is fast-tracking a rule that could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions to federal executions.

Management

Most States Aren’t Ready to Distribute the Leading COVID-19 Vaccine

A review of state distribution plans reveals that officials don’t know how they’ll deal with the difficult storage and transport requirements of Pfizer’s vaccine, especially in the rural areas currently seeing a spike in infections.

Management

Veterans Affairs Secretary Headlines GOP Fundraiser as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Electioneering by a cabinet secretary is unusual by historical standards, but Trump administration officials continue to show no reluctance to play politics.

Management

Who Decides When Vaccine Studies Are Done? Internal Documents Show Fauci Plays a Key Role.

Dr. Anthony Fauci will see data from government-funded vaccine trials before the FDA does. One caveat: Pfizer’s study, which is ahead of the others, isn’t included in his purview.

Management

Trump’s Vaccine Czar Refuses to Give Up Stock in Drug Company Involved in His Government Role

The administration calls Moncef Slaoui, who leads its vaccine race, a “contractor” to sidestep rules against personally profiting from government positions. Slaoui owns $10 million in stock of a company working with his team to develop a vaccine.

Management

Now in Government Food Aid Boxes: A Letter From Donald Trump

Democrats say the letter violates the law against using government resources to campaign. It’s just the latest example of President Trump using his office to boost his reelection hopes.

Management

Thousands of Small Business Owners Have Not Gotten Disaster Loans the Government Promised Them

A top official said 99% of funds were paid, but only 55% of small business owners reported receiving the money. Borrowers were told there was a technical glitch, but the Small Business Administration would not answer questions about it.

Oversight

Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

Beneficiaries of the PPP included a lettuce farming venture backed by Trump’s son, Kushner companies, and a dentist who golfs with the president. The figures were released after a lawsuit by several news organizations, including ProPublica.

Management

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Buddy Used His 'Shadow' Sway Over the VA to Promote His Comic Book Empire

Marvel chief Ike Perlmutter arranged for comic book characters to ring the NYSE closing bell with the VA secretary in 2017, according to a new government audit. Perlmutter has denied benefiting from his role as an informal adviser to President Trump.

Management

Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their Work

Lawmakers are asking why some federal contractors in Trump’s food aid program apparently lack qualifications to deliver the goods. Companies hired a consultant to tell positive stories.

Oversight

Wedding Planner, Caterer, 'Brand Builder': Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers

Contractors with no experience in food distribution are looking for suppliers on Facebook while some food banks scramble to find desperately needed deliveries.

Oversight

Did He Talk About Her? VA Secretary Changes His Story Amid Allegations He Sought Dirt on House Staffer.

Robert Wilkie is under investigation after a complaint that he sought information to discredit a House staffer who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital. Wilkie denied discussing her with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. But an email indicates he did.

Oversight

Trump Removed the Head of the Coronavirus Bailout Oversight Board. Its Members Could Be Next.

Democrats are scrambling to stop the president from replacing independent government watchdogs after he quickly pushed aside the leader of coronavirus bailout oversight.

Management

The Trump Administration Is Leaving the Nation’s Emergency Backup Hospital System on the Sidelines

Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs say they are ready to answer the call to assist HHS or FEMA. But the call has not come.

Management

House Democrats Probe Faulty Test Kits’ Role in Delaying Coronavirus Response

The House Oversight Committee cited ProPublica’s reporting in requesting documents from the Trump administration.

Management

Key Missteps at the CDC Have Set Back Its Ability to Detect the Potential Spread of Coronavirus

The CDC designed a flawed test for COVID-19, then took weeks to figure out a fix so state and local labs could use it. New York still doesn’t trust the test’s accuracy.

Workforce

VA Secretary Under Investigation After Complaint He Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Said She’d Been Assaulted

The agency’s internal watchdog told lawmakers about the probe after ProPublica unearthed the allegations against Secretary Robert Wilkie.

Management

Trump Endorsed a Risky Antidepressant for Veterans. Lawmakers Want to Know if His Mar-a-Lago Pals Had a Stake in the Drugmaker.

House Democrats requested emails and financial records as they investigate why the president told the VA to “corner the market” on a Johnson & Johnson drug.

Defense

Trump’s New Spy Chief Failed to Report $100,000 from a Group Funded by Hungary

Richard Grenell’s past clients could raise concerns about his access to state secrets, according to his own office’s rules.