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Isaac Arnsdorf

Reporter

Photo of Isaac Arnsdorf

Isaac Arnsdorf covers politics, influence and the Trump administration.

Before joining ProPublica in 2017, he covered lobbying and campaign finance at Politico. During the transition and early days of the Trump administration, his reporting included the rollout of executive orders, departures from ethics rules for lobbyists and law enforcement, and Russian influence efforts. Arnsdorf also formerly wrote Politico’s daily newsletter on lobbying, communications and the business of politics.

Arnsdorf previously covered energy markets in London and New York for Bloomberg News. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The St. Petersburg Times (now The Tampa Bay Times), and The Seattle Times.

Trump’s VA Firing Spree Falters in Court

Rather than defend a law that the president loves, the VA will reinstate a hospital director whom it twice tried to fire.

What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised? An Update

Since the election, President Trump has made 35 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. Spoiler Alert: They haven’t held up.

VA’s Private Care Program Headed for Tech Trouble, Review Finds

“These people are out of their minds,” one VA doctor said.

Trump Mar-a-Lago Buddy Wrote Policy Pitch. The President Sent It to VA Chief.

A handwritten note to Trump, addressed “Dear King,” presents another instance of access and influence for Mar-a-Lago associates.

House Panel Probes Trump Advisers’ Push for Saudi Nuclear Deal

The administration is pursuing a plan championed by Tom Barrack, Mike Flynn and outside business interests to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite security concerns.

The VA Is Paying for a Top Official’s Cross-Country Commute

Darin Selnick, the architect of the Trump administration’s controversial new policies on private health care for veterans, traveled to Washington from his home in California twice a month at taxpayer expense.

“Doubling Down”: With Private Care Push, Trump’s VA Bucks Lawmakers and Some Veterans Groups

The administration proposed new rules on paying for more veterans to see private doctors, but the lack of details makes the fiscal impact unclear.

VA Was “Taken Advantage Of” by Paying Billions in Fees, Secretary Says

Officials vowed to improve the department’s private care program. But lawmakers voiced concerns about higher costs and worse health care for veterans.

The VA’s Private Care Program Gave Companies Billions and Vets Longer Waits

Trump wants to supersize a program that spent almost a quarter of its funds on overhead.

How We Crunched the Numbers on the VA’s Private Care Program

ProPublica and PolitiFact used VA data to follow the money meant for veterans’ private health care.

VA Shadow Rulers Had Sway Over Contracting and Budgeting

New disclosures and investigations are straining the three Trump associates’ relationship with the new VA secretary.

Trump Administration Defends Legality of VA Shadow Rulers

In a court filing, government lawyers argued that a Watergate-era sunshine law doesn’t apply to three Trump associates influencing the VA from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump Administration Plots Costly Private-Care Expansion for Veterans

The plan sets up a clash with Democrats, who say the administration is thwarting congressional intent and will starve the VA health system to pay for private care.

Aging Machines, Crowds, Humidity: Problems at the Polls Were Mundane but Widespread

Instead of fireworks from voter intimidation or cyberattacks, Americans grappled with the mundane frustrations of using dated equipment to vote in huge numbers.

These Voters Had to Wait for Hours: “It Felt Like a Type of Disenfranchisement”

Many would-be voters’ first attempts were foiled by problems at polling places. There isn’t good data on how many people ultimately don’t cast a ballot.

Georgia Voters Face Hourslong Waits as State Scrambles to Accommodate Turnout

Voters across the state are facing waits of up to five hours as lines snake out the doors and administrators rush to get additional materials to the polls.

The VA Shadow Rulers’ Signature Program Is “Trending Towards Red”

A $10 billion technology upgrade championed by Jared Kushner and the Mar-a-Lago trio is at risk of failing the VA’s 7 million patients.

GOP Senator Pushed VA to Use Unproven “Brainwave Frequency” Treatment

The Trump administration has welcomed experimental procedures for veterans’ mental health, even though doctors urge caution.

Veterans Group Sues to Block VA Shadow Rulers

A new lawsuit challenges the legality of a secret Mar-a-Lago troika after ProPublica revealed its influence over the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Democrats Vow Investigation of VA’s Shadow Rulers After ProPublica Story

“This situation reeks of corruption and cronyism,” said the top Democrat on the House veterans committee.

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