Cockburn

Mischief, mayhem and Washington gossip. Send tips to cockburn@thespectator.com

Could Sebastian Gorka make a return to the White House?

Dr Sebastian Gorka, the much-maligned television personality, defence brain and former Trump official, is making moves again. At the moment, his recent career path seems remarkably similar to the one pursued by John Bolton, which eventually delivered the former U.N. ambassador back to power last month. Whether Gorka, who worked in the office of former […]

By Cockburn

Is Pete Hegseth really a suitable candidate for Secretary of Veterans Affairs?

President Donald Trump insists that there is no shortage of talent wanting to fill posts in his administration. But would a president who wasn’t desperate really be considering replacing former Veterans Affairs secretary Shulkin with Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth, as several outlets report? Hegseth’s main qualification is that the president has seen him […]

By Cockburn

What will Stormy Daniels tell CBS?

Stormy Daniels is giving an interview to CBS 60 Minutes tomorrow night. What will she say?

By Cockburn

Russia

Why did McMaster go?

Everyone wants to know what caused President Trump to dump national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Today’s papers are saying it was because McMaster, addressing the Munich Security Conference in February, said he had ‘incontrovertible’ evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump was quick to signal his disapproval. ‘General McMaster forgot to say that […]

By Cockburn

Outlandish warhawk Ralph Peters resigns from Fox News in moral protest

The age of Trump makes for strange bedfellows. This week retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters suddenly finds himself a darling of the left. A man who called President Barack Obama ‘pussy’ and said of Islamic militants that we should ‘kill them, keep on killing them, until you kill the last one and then you kill […]

By Cockburn

Remember the name Wayne Berman (amid talk of imminent John Kelly firing)

Washington lobbyist and longtime Republican operative Wayne Berman is in the running to replace John Kelly as White House chief of staff, a source in contact with the president tells Cockburn. Berman is currently a senior lobbyist for private equity firm Blackstone Group. He was an advisor for both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns […]

By Cockburn

Bolton vs. Biegun vs. Kellogg: the race for National Security Advisor

Every day brings fresh reports of the imminent departure of H.R. McMaster. A Washington Post story on the subject elicited yesterday a classic non-denial denial from Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary. It should be pointed out that reporting on potential firings often cools President Trump from actually following through (ask Rex Tillerson). But should McMaster actually […]

By Cockburn

The wild, wild world of Sheriff David Clarke

David Clarke, former sheriff of Milwaukee County, seemed made for Trump-era celebrity politics. Black, bearded and Stetson-wearing, he made his name with fiery conservative rhetoric, earning himself hundreds of thousands of dollars from speaking tours which crossed the country. He spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016, and is currently a spokesman for one […]

By Cockburn

Trade

Kudlow vs. Navarro? The Race To Replace ‘Globalist Gary’

Cockburn has learned that Lawrence Kudlow, the CNBC star, former Reagan official and financier, is a major candidate to replace Gary Cohn as Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, according to a source familiar with the matter. Other candidates include the man who forced Cohn’s departure: the tariff-loving Peter Navarro. Also in contention are Mick Mulvaney, […]

By Cockburn

Immigration hardliner blocked as Homeland Security Chief

Immigration hardliner Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, was offered and then denied the position of Homeland Security Secretary, according to a source familiar with the matter. The Kansan was apparently blocked by Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham because the budding administration didn’t want to mount a bruising fight over it in the […]

By Cockburn

Watch: Sam Nunberg’s day of disaster

Working for Donald Trump, or having worked for him, takes its toll. Sam Nunberg, the former aide who President Trump once left at McDonalds because his burger was taking too long, has now embarked on a disastrous media tour. In a pair of rambling, bizarre interviews this afternoon, first with MSNBC’s Katy Tur and then […]

By Cockburn

Gulp! The Spectator’s Taki plans drinks with Steve Bannon

A sneak peak from this week’s Spectator magazine, in which our seasoned High Life columnist Taki reveals the following: This week I’m going down to Zurich to hear a speech organised by Die Weltwoche — the Swiss version of The Spectator — and given by Steve Bannon. He asked to meet me afterwards and you […]

By Cockburn

Who is blocking John Bolton?

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is blocking former Ambassador John Bolton from taking over as National Security Advisor, Cockburn has learned. John Bolton was first reported as heir apparent to McMaster by The National Interest in January. McMaster was nearly ousted from the White House summer of last year, ostensibly by a faction lead by […]

By Cockburn

Finally — the truth about Peter Thiel and Gawker

If one of his erstwhile victims turned around and punched the schoolyard bully in the nose, you would feel like he had it coming, wouldn’t you? What if the same erstwhile victim was handed a broken bottle, and proceeded to leave the bully bleeding out on the basketball court? That’s what happened to Gawker in […]

By Cockburn

All you need is Kompromat! Did the New York Times fall for a great Trump-Russia hoax?

The big story that British journos are now desperate to break is ‘How Russia hacked Brexit’. Once that rolls out, Britain can be like America, where nobody knows if Vladimir Putin is their true master or just the bogeyman of a paranoid elite. But newspapers should be wary: Russia collusion stories can make the press […]

By Cockburn

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