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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.

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.

The Shadow Rulers of the VA

How Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter and two other Mar-a-Lago cronies are secretly shaping the Trump administration’s veterans policies.

Steve Cohen Is Spending Millions to Help Veterans. Why Are People Angry?

The hedge fund billionaire’s efforts to assist veterans with PTSD have thrust him into the fight over privatizing the VA and led some people to question his motives.

White House Chief of Staff Contradicts White House Claim on VA Shakeup

John Kelly told veterans groups last week that President Trump decided to remove VA secretary David Shulkin, despite the administration’s insistence that Shulkin resigned. The dispute could have legal implications for VA policies.

The Trump Administration’s Campaign to Weaken Civil Service Ramps Up at the VA

Firings surged at the Veterans Affairs Department last year in the wake of a new law. Now the president wants to replicate that legislation across the federal government.

What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders

For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.

The Trump Administration Goes to War — With Itself — Over the VA

Even before a searing report put the job of Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin at risk, some White House staffers were pushing a health care agenda at odds with his. The infighting has left vets frustrated, Congress confused — and a key piece of legislation stalemated.

What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised?

Since the election, President Trump has made 31 specific claims about companies adding or saving American jobs thanks to his intervention. We went back to see what’s become of those announcements.

White House May Share Nuclear Power Technology With Saudi Arabia

The overture follows an intense and secretive lobbying push involving Michael Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and even Iran-Contra figure Robert McFarlane.

Trump Appointee Resigns After ProPublica Report

The Bureau of Indian Affairs official was overseeing a loan program that was in litigation over a loan guarantee he obtained while in private business.

Your $20 Million Loan Went Bust? The Trump Team Has a Job For You

A government watchdog found irregularities in a loan guarantee arranged by Gavin Clarkson for an Indian tribe. Now Clarkson is in charge of the program that is on the hook for the mess.

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