Chief White House Correspondent
Jonathan Karl was named ABC News chief White House correspondent in December 2012. He regularly contributes to all broadcasts, including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir” and “Nightline.” In addition, he reports for all of ABC’s digital properties, including the popular political blog “The Note,” and hosts a weekly digital show for ABC News/Yahoo! News.
Karl has broad experience covering U.S. politics, foreign policy and military. His reporting drives news cycles and has been recognized with some of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including the 2011 Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based reporting and an Emmy Award for his coverage of the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama. In 2001 he won the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award, the highest honor for Congressional reporting.
A regular contributor to “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Karl also serves as a guest anchor for the program. In February 2010 he secured an exclusive interview with Dick Cheney for the Sunday morning program.
Prior to his current post at the White House, Karl served as ABC’s senior political correspondent where he covered national political news, including Presidential politics and Congress. In 2012 he was often on the campaign trail. His well-sourced reporting gave viewers an inside track on the veepstakes as the Romney campaign whittled down its list of candidates.
In his 15 years in Washington, Karl earned a reputation as a fierce government watchdog for his aggressive investigations of government waste. His reporting on Congressional junkets led to changes in the rules for the travel costs of members of Congress and their staffs, and his reporting on vacant federal buildings led to a new effort to sell off unused government real estate.
Bringing a creative approach to covering politics through the “Subway Series,” Karl has interviewed dozens of senators as they travel underground from their offices to the Capitol. He has also brought the series outside the beltway, interviewing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Lexington Avenue line of the New York subway, Representative Michelle Bachman on the trolley in downtown Des Moines, Iowa and Representative Kristi Noem on horseback at her ranch in South Dakota.
Karl has had news-making interviews with leading figures from the political, international and entertainment worlds, including Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Elton John, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Ross Perot, John Kerry, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Garry Kasparov, Ted Kennedy, Jeb Bush, Robert Mugabe, David Petraeus, Dick Cheney, Paul Ryan, Pete Townshend, Michael Bloomberg, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Robert Gates, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole, Donald Rumsfeld, Louis Farrakhan, James Taylor, Yoko Ono and George Clooney.
Karl joined ABC News in January 2003 as the network’s senior foreign affairs correspondent covering the State Department. He traveled around the world with Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. In 2004 he spent several months on the campaign trail covering the Bush-Cheney campaign, and he also co-anchored election night coverage on ABC News NOW – anchoring for more than 14 straight hours.
In December 2005 Karl was named senior National Security correspondent. He has traveled the world for ABC News, reporting from more than two dozen countries on five continents. He reported more extensively on the situation in Darfur, Sudan than any other network correspondent, visiting Sudan three times in 2005. He also broke several stories on Iran’s nuclear program and covered the 2004 Presidential elections in Russia. Before joining ABC News, he served as a congressional correspondent for CNN. In his eight years with CNN, he covered Capitol Hill, the White House and the Pentagon. While there, he reported on two Presidential elections, President Clinton’s impeachment, the NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, and congressional reaction to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
During his time on Capitol Hill for CNN, Karl was the first to report on two of the most significant congressional stories in recent years: Senator Jim Jefford’s decision to leave the Republican Party and Trent Lott’s decision to step down as Senate Majority Leader. In 1998 he was the first reporter to obtain the Starr Report, one of the most sought after political documents in recent years.
Prior to joining CNN, Karl worked as an investigative reporter for The New York Post. At the Post he covered Rudy Giuliani’s City Hall and the 1994 Cuomo-Pataki Gubernatorial race. He has also worked as a researcher and reporter for The New Republic, where he covered a variety of issues ranging from international affairs to American politics to education.
A prolific writer, Karl’s work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, Reason, The Christian Science Monitor and The San Francisco Chronicle. In December 1995, his non-fiction book, The Right to Bear Arms: The Rise of America’s New Militias, was published by Harper-Collins.
Karl graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, in 1990, where he was editor in chief of The Vassar Spectator.