NBC News Adds to Investigative Team

By Chris Ariens 

It was as good a day as any to highlight several new additions to the NBC News investigative team.

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim just sent a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, announcing new hires and several promotions, including a team focused on national security and politics. Last night, that team reported on a Situation Room meeting in which Pres. Trump expressed his frustration about “losing” the war in Afghanistan.

Carol Lee, who joined the network from The Wall Street Journal, reported the story with Courtney Kube, a longtime NBC Newser with deep national security sources.


“Original, enterprise reporting has never been more important,” wrote Oppenheim. “This specialized team, led by Rich Greenberg and Dafna Linzer – working alongside our existing Investigative Unit – will contribute to all the platforms of NBC News and MSNBC.”

Here’s Oppenheim’s note:


Last night NBC News had another great scoop – exclusive reporting on the president’s Situation Room discussions about Afghanistan. It was an excellent debut for our new investigative team focused on national security and politics.

Original, enterprise reporting has never been more important. This specialized team, led by Rich Greenberg and Dafna Linzer – working alongside our existing Investigative Unit – will contribute to all the platforms of NBC News and MSNBC. The team includes a combination of new and familiar names that I’m proud to share with you:

Carol Lee has joined us as a national political reporter. Her work at The Wall Street Journal was regularly featured on its front page during her tenure there. Carol, who most recently served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has also reported for POLITICO, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune and The New York Times, where she began as a news assistant.

Mike Memoli returns to NBC News as a national political reporter after seven notable years at The Los Angeles Times covering politics, foreign policy and homeland security. You may remember his sharp stories for NBC News from the 2008 election cycle on the New Hampshire primary race and the Democratic ticket. Before The L.A. Times, he served as Real Clear Politics’ first White House reporter and spent three years alongside Chuck Todd at National Journal.

Vivian Salama is also returning to the Peacock, where she began as an intern, as a national political reporter. She most recently reported on the White House for The Associated Press, where she also served as deputy politics editor and Baghdad bureau chief. Vivian also wrote for Bloomberg News, spending 12 storied years as a foreign correspondent as she reported from more than 60 countries.

Keri Geiger joins NBC News as a financial investigative reporter. Keri hails from Bloomberg News, where she spent four years specializing in financial crime and national security, and most recently, covering the Trump administration. Prior to Bloomberg, Keri was a foreign correspondent for Euromoney and The Wall Street Journal. Her finance roots come from her time at Deutsche Bank before entering journalism.

Julia Ainsley comes to NBC News from Reuters, where she broke several stories about the Trump administration’s travel ban while covering criminal justice, counterterrorism and immigration; she was the wire’s White House correspondent in 2015. Julia, who will be a national security reporter with a focus on the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, has also covered Congress and the White House for National Journal.

Courtney Kube, a Pentagon reporter and producer for the network since 2005, will focus on the military and intelligence beats as a national security reporter. She has covered the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, reporting from war zones and U.S. military bases all around the world. Courtney has worked for NBC News for the past 18 years, beginning her career as an intern and later working for “NBC Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”

Ken Dilanian is a NBC News national security and intelligence reporter. Before joining NBC News, Ken covered national security for The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times and USA TODAY. He was also a Rome-based foreign correspondent for The Philadelphia Inquirer, reporting on Europe and the Middle East, including the war in Iraq. He’s won multiple awards for investigations into government dysfunction for his local reporting in Philadelphia.