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 mparks@npr.org.

President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, "should cooperate" with prosecutors, and that if he tells the truth, Trump has nothing to worry about.

Giuliani made the television rounds Sunday morning, appearing on three different programs, as speculation grew louder last week that Cohen was inching closer to criminal charges and possibly working out a deal with prosecutors.

"Michael Cohen should cooperate with the government," Giuliani said on ABC's This Week.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump made an unannounced trip to the Southern U.S. border Thursday to visit children who entered the country illegally and see the centers where they are being detained.

The trip comes a day after President Trump signed an executive order ending his controversial policy of family separation for migrant families detained as they're crossing into the U.S. illegally at the Southern border.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

Updated at 7:02 p.m. ET

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray headed to Capitol Hill Monday for a grilling from senators — that quickly turned partisan — about the inspector general's scathing report on the FBI's mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

Updated at 11:23 p.m. ET

After one White House adviser said there was "a special place in hell" for foreign leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and another said Trudeau "stabbed us in the back," Canadian leaders offered a measured — even polite — response.

When a WWE wrestler, especially one known for his demonic antics and a move called the "tombstone piledriver," runs for mayor of your county, you know your election is going to get more attention than usual.

But in Knox County, Tenn., it wasn't the fact that Glenn Jacobs, also known to wrestling fans as Kane, was running for mayor that gained national attention on the county primary day, May 1.

Two years after Russia's wave of cyberattacks against American democracy, a Senate committee investigating election interference says those hackers hit harder than previously thought in several states.

The committee also added that it still doesn't know with complete certainty exactly how much of U.S. voting infrastructure was compromised.

As America heads toward the 2018 midterms, there is an 800-pound gorilla in the voting booth.

Despite improvements since Russia's attack on the 2016 presidential race, the U.S. elections infrastructure is vulnerable — and will remain so in November.

Cybersecurity expert Bruce Schneier laid out the problem to an overflowing room full of election directors and secretaries of state — people charged with running and securing elections — at a conference at Harvard University this spring.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're about to be in the thick of primary season. Voters are deciding the candidates for November's midterm elections. Four states vote tomorrow, with another four next week.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump's legal team to help deal with the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether Trump's campaign conspired with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

"Rudy is great," Trump said in a statement released by his attorney Jay Sekulow. "He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country."

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. EDT

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen also has been representing Fox News host Sean Hannity, it emerged in federal court on Monday.

Federal judge Kimba Wood ordered an attorney for Cohen to reveal the identity of a client that Cohen's team had withheld in earlier court documents as part of a dispute over evidence seized by the FBI from Cohen's home and office earlier this month.

Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET

Donald Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen is set to appear in federal court on Monday afternoon as he and the president are fighting to be able to review documents seized last week by federal agents before prosecutors do.

The massive spending bill President Trump signed into law on Friday includes enough money to replace voting machines that leave no paper trail, a top priority for many election officials and cybersecurity experts. But according to a new analysis, it seems unlikely that's how the money will be spent.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 3:46 p.m. EDT

State elections officials need more funding and better safeguards against cyberattacks in order to prepare to defend the 2018 midterm elections, according to new Senate intelligence committee recommendations on Tuesday.

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.

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.

Updated at 3:52 p.m. ET

Russian influence operations in the United States will continue through this year's midterm elections and beyond, the nation's top spies warned Congress on Tuesday.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate intelligence committee that Moscow viewed its attack on the 2016 election as decidedly worthwhile given the chaos it has sown compared with its relatively low cost.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pages