Gus Carter

A brief history of presidential assassinations

That image of Donald Trump, blood streaming down his face, fist raised in front of the banner of the republic, will be a defining photo of the 21st century. Someone attempted to kill the former and would-be president, they missed, and Trump survived. His response to his followers? ‘Fight’. We can expect to see him on stage at the Republican National Convention next week in Milwaukee, a bullet wound to his right ear clearly visible. How might America respond? The man who shot Reagan was obsessed with the actress Jodie Foster and the Robert De Nero film Taxi Driver There have been four successful assassinations of United States presidents –

What I saw at the Trump shooting

Butler, Pennsylvania The crowd had waited for hours in the heat for Trump to show up. When he did arrive, they cheered when he asked if they minded if he went off the teleprompter. He had just been turning his head to point to a graph showing how many fewer illegal deportations there were when he was in office. Many of them stood up, apparently fearlessly, and cheered as the president was ushered off stage Then there were some popping sounds that, from where I was far in the back, close to the exit, sounded like fireworks. A pause followed and Trump disappeared from view. The people around me were

Kate Andrews

Today, we’re all MAGA

When Ronald Reagan was shot on 30 March 1981, his wound was not immediately noticed. It wasn’t until he started bleeding from the mouth that the car was diverted from the White House to the hospital. The story goes that upon arrival, the president said to the surgeons, ‘I just hope you’re Republicans.’ A doctor is said to have replied: ‘Today, Mr. President, we’re all Republicans.’ Americans have become increasingly fearful of political violence Let’s hope this anecdote is never debunked. It’s too good a story: about Americans who did not hesitate to put their country before the politics that so often plagues it. The attack on Reagan was the

Gavin Mortimer

France doesn’t have much to celebrate this Bastille Day

England play Spain tonight in Berlin in the final of the European Championships. Emmanuel Macron is a football fan so he may tune in. Then again, it might all be a little too painful for him. If football was in keeping with history it would be France in the final. It’s their day, after all, July 14, and no doubt Macron had kept the evening free in the hope of flying east to cheer on his boys. But there’ll be no jolly to Germany. Worse, England may be crowned champions of Europe. Oh Mon Dieu, non. Anyone but perfidious Albion. A week after the elections, the country is without a recognisable government

Has Israel managed to kill the mastermind of October 7?

When an opportunity came today for Israel to take out the leading Hamas member and head of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, it could not afford to pass it up. It’s unclear yet whether Deif was in fact killed in the strike, which took place near the city of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. Deif is arguably the most elusive Hamas leader. He joined Hamas as a teenager shortly after the organisation was established in 1987, and was arrested by Israel and held for 16 months in 1989. He has since become one of the most powerful and influential figures in the terror organisation and played a pivotal role

Why is anti-Semitism such a problem at elite universities?

Whether it’s Harvard, Pennsylvania, Oxford or Cambridge, if there are large endowments and manicured lawns then, it seems, anti-Semitism is virulent. As the academic year comes to an end, we need to discuss the bigotry that has been unleashed at elite universities across Britain and America. The latest example to hit the headlines occurred at Columbia University this week. Three deans have been ‘removed’ for sending text messages containing anti-Semitic tropes in an incident that reveals much about the way elite anti-Semitism plays out in universities today. Anti-Semitism has been a growing issue at Columbia for some months. In December, Columbia’s president was invited but, citing scheduling conflicts, declined to appear

The Democrats should remove Joe Biden from office

In a sense, Democrats ought to be relieved. After his calamitous presidential debate, Joe Biden delivered one of his most embarrassing gaffes on Thursday, when he introduced Volodymyr Zelensky as ‘President Putin’, and called Kamala Harris ‘Vice President Trump’. These howlers – which could have been mistaken for hard-right disinformation – are incontrovertible evidence the Democrats need to remove Biden from the ticket. The President’s inner circle, which has stubbornly defended Biden’s health and argued that the debate was an anomaly, have no arguments left. Democrat donors and members of the party establishment are publicly and privately calling for Biden to give up the nomination.  Biden’s age and mental acuity

Freddy Gray

Eric Kaufmann on DEI, the contagion effect and free speech

49 min listen

The Spectator’s Freddy Gray sits down with author and professor of politics Eric Kaufmann. They discuss the dangers of DEI, why Eric blames the bleeding heart liberals for the woke contagion and why it is possible much worst than originally thought. You can also watch this episode on Spectator TV:

Freddy Gray

Joe Biden won’t quit over his ‘President Putin’ gaffe

As Biden gaffes go, I wouldn’t say that introducing the Ukrainian leader as ‘President Putin’ is particularly bad. Silly, awkward, absurd, yes – but for once Biden acknowledged his error and corrected himself: ‘President Putin? We’re gonna beat President Putin. President Zelensky. I’m so focused on beating Putin…. We’ve gotta worry about it. Anyway…’  The made-up-on-the-spot excuse showed a certain agility of mind. If anything, Biden’s ‘I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump’ remark later in the day was the more troubling slip: he just blustered on without realising that he’d muddled Kamala Harris with his chief domestic enemy. Still, Biden has been doing that sort of thing for some

Gavin Mortimer

How the National Rally were discredited by the French media

The day after the French left had pulled off a sensational victory in the parliamentary elections one of their newly-elected MPs sent a tweet. Faced with the seemingly unstoppable rise of the National Rally, Macron reverted to ‘moral arguments’ Aurélien Rousseau had triumphed in a constituency south of Paris, and he wanted to express his ‘gratitude’ to the media for their ‘indispensable’ work. He name-checked a good proportion of the Fourth Estate, including all the regional press, local radio stations and the national newspapers Le Monde, La Croix, Libération and L’Humanité. Rousseau wasn’t the only member of the left-wing New Popular Front coalition who had good reason to thank the media for their work. Throughout

Joe Biden is in denial

Donald Trump had good reason to gloat over Joe Biden’s press conference flub referring to ‘Vice President Trump’. It was preceded earlier in the day by Biden calling Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky ‘President Putin.’ Biden, in other words, was at it again. But Biden adeptly seized the opportunity to offer a little lesson in foreign affairs in his presser at the Nato summit in Washington, zooming from Ukraine to China to Israel. Along the way, he got to flash his bona fides, including the declaration that he has spent a grand total of 90 hours speaking with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Biden was a man on a mission. His campaign

Stephen Daisley

What explains Trump’s silence?

As the Democrats go into a very public meltdown about Joe Biden’s fitness to be their presidential candidate in November, there is an unusual sound emanating from Donald Trump: silence. In the 2016 campaign and across four years in the White House, Trump proved himself incapable of message discipline, venting against fellow Republicans on social media and turned press conferences into rambling denunciations of the latest character to displease him. This behaviour regularly handed Democrats and journalists the chance to shift the news cycle from issues difficult for them (e.g. immigration) and onto issues difficult for the GOP (e.g. Trump’s intemperance and Republican infighting). Few presidents have so routinely undermined

Jonathan Miller

Macron is looking increasingly desperate

President Emmanuel Macron finally broke his silence and rediscovered the magical breath of his ‘baraka’ as he took to the airwaves last night. He gave an inspiring speech offering a new political settlement to reunite the French, calling on his nation to be steadfast and confident in its greatness. Correction: Macron did nothing of the kind. Instead, far away at the Nato summit in Washington, he sent a desperate letter to local newspapers promising that something will turn up. Eventually. What Macron is hoping for now remains enigmatic and implausible This letter to the electorate is the most tone-deaf declaration so far from a president who has led France into a

Portrait of the Week: Starmer’s first steps, Biden’s wobble and Australia’s egg shortage

Home Sir Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister, appointed several ministers who are not MPs, but will be created life peers. Most cabinet posts went to MPs who had shadowed the portfolios, but as Attorney General he appointed Richard Hermer KC, a human rights lawyer, instead of Emily Thornberry, who said she was ‘very sorry and surprised’. James Timpson, the shoe-repair businessman and prison reformer, was made prisons minister. Sir Patrick Vallance was made science minister. The former home secretary Jacqui Smith became higher education minister; Ellie Reeves, the sister of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves, became minister without portfolio. The government dropped the phrase ‘levelling up’. The Chancellor

Why don’t international laws apply to Russia?

The Kremlin has denied it targeted the Kyiv children’s hospital that was struck by a missile on Monday. It was aiming at legitimate military and civil infrastructure targets, it says, but the missile was intercepted by Ukraine’s Nasams defence system and the debris fell on the children’s ward. This is an easily debunked lie. The Spectator’s correspondent Svitlana Morenets was nearby and reports in these pages that there is plenty of video evidence to show exactly what happened: a perfectly intact, precision-guided Kh-101 missile going exactly where it was aimed. It is a war crime to target hospitals, yet Russia does so and still a European head of government, Viktor

Biden’s leadership, not his health, is America’s biggest problem

Since Joe Biden’s now infamous debate performance, the Democratic party has been having palpitations about his candidacy. But all brouhaha about Biden’s decline has distracted the public from critically examining his administration’s more significant failures. Democrats now talk as if the only problem with Biden is his ability to convince the public that he’s fit to serve. But a fish rots from the head and, thanks to his inept leadership, Biden’s government has weakened America’s security, its economic stability, and its international standing. These shortcomings should not be ignored. The failing policies of the Democratic left have made America less safe and less prosperous. One of the most contentious issues of

Jonathan Miller

Emmanuel Macron is cornered

They’re playing with a Rubik’s Cube in Paris trying to cobble together a government. An Italian-job technocratic government? A national government of all talents? A wonky coalition in the hope that something turns up? Perhaps France might discover, like Belgium, that it does better with no government at all.  Emmanuel Macron, who has provoked this political nervous breakdown, normally rushes onto television to treat French voters to his subtle thoughts, and perhaps he will break his silence and confide in us. His prolonged silence has nevertheless been telling. He’s cornered. Why he did this is inexplicable. He’s become the chained duck Obviously by any rational criteria of job performance Macron is guilty