Rob Crilly

For Donald Trump, politics is a primetime TV show

Donald Trump promised to bring some pizzazz to the White House. And last night he delivered, unveiling his selection for a vacant Supreme Court seat on prime time TV after teasing the American public with a reality show style whittling down of candidates. His selection, the Oxford-educated Neil Gorsuch, is an established legal mind who will

Donald Trump’s inner dictator starts to stir

It is of course nonsense to describe Donald Trump as a fascist or a dictator, as his opponents like to do. And yet… well, he does sometimes rather invite it.  There was his inaugural address in which he dusted off the ‘America first doctrine’ – as used by the isolationist, anti-Semitic group that urged the US

Welcome to the era of ‘alternative facts’

Now we have confirmation. The official language of Donald Trump’s White House really is doublespeak. This is how absurd the row over crowd numbers at the inauguration has become. It started with an extraordinary speech delivered by Trump at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where he appeared to speak off the cuff for about 15 minutes during

Trump was still in full campaign mode. Was that wise?

We were told Donald Trump would be displaying his “philosophical” side in his inaugural address. To me, sitting beneath a grey Washington sky, it looked pretty much the same as the bombastic side that we saw so much of during the campaign. In short he stood on the steps of the United States Capitol, symbol of

Washington’s lobbyists are starting to panic

Things are changing in Washington… and not just at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Political newbies watched the fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial on Thursday night. Elderly women prepared for their first inauguration. One family had brought their daughter to Washington to witness the moment that Donald Trump was sworn in.   And Washington regulars – the politicos, party hacks

Surprisingly, Donald Trump’s inauguration will be relatively low-key

Who would have thought it? The man who declared his presidential ambitions after arriving down a gilded escalator and whose private apartment has been derided as over-the-top dictator chic, is having a low-key inauguration. Once Donald Trump, showman extraordinaire, has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States he will depart down

Trump’s performance will have delighted Putin

After 167 days without a press conference, Donald Trump’s performance in Trump Tower didn’t disappoint. He abused journalists, denounced a string of media organisations and compared his own intelligence services with those of Nazi Germany. Some of us wondered whether the latest scandal – allegations that Russian intelligence operatives had gathered compromising material or Kompromat on

Will we see a different Donald Trump at today’s press conference?

When Donald Trump steps from his golden elevator in Trump Tower to address the assembled ranks of the world’s media later today, it will be 167 days since his last press conference – the one, you’ll remember, when he encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. After November’s election he did say he would announce how

Trump Grill could be the best representation of America

I have a confession to make. I go to Trump Tower in New York a lot. It’s an easy jaunt for a New York-based hack: where better to chat with Trump supporters than in its golden lobby or with opponents outside its golden doors? Maybe you’ll spot a celebrity like Kanye West or, if you are

Donald Trump is going back on his promise to ‘drain the swamp’

Donald Trump has a method for making his Cabinet picks. Parade the contenders in and out of Trump Tower and its waiting TV cameras. Leak and Tweet their performance ratings (‘very good meeting’). And then, once the suspense has reached something approaching a reality TV show, announce the hire on social media. And as the administration

Not all Muslims are despairing at a Donald Trump presidency

The immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s surprise election victory brought a slew of comparisons with 9/11. In New York, my liberal friends waking up on 11/9 said they experienced the same range of emotions. You will have seen the stories of commuters weeping on the subway, colleges offering counselling to students and a general sentiment that

It’s Black Friday, so Donald Trump is flogging off America’s reputation

Donald Trump loves a great deal. You know that by now, right? A great, fantastic, beautiful deal. Big-league or bigly, whichever you prefer. Huge. It was his campaign’s USP. President Trump promised to strike bigger, better deals for America. And already his supporters are seeing the fruits. This morning, the President-elect, the man who is soon to become

Donald Trump might be going soft but his supporters don’t seem to mind

‘Mister Softie’, screams the headline on the New York Daily News, with Donald Trump’s luxurious comb-over transformed into an ice-cream twist. The president elect is back-pedalling, flip-flopping and cozying up to his enemies. Going soft. Before he has even taken up residence in the White House, America’s liberal media has declared Trump a traitor to the millions

What now for the ‘Never Trump’ Republicans?

Plenty of Republicans were not in the mood to celebrate on election night. About 200 gathered at the Lincoln Restaurant in Washington DC, where they had hoped they could watch a heavy defeat for Donald Trump and begin the process of returning their party to its centre-Right origins. Instead, people began drifting home before midnight. Since then,

Trump vs Clinton: What to watch out for on election night

The most divisive American election in living memory is almost over. By the end of the day an estimated 130 million people will have cast their ballots and we will be well on the way to knowing which candidate has done enough to win the necessary 270 electoral college votes. Here are the key things

Donald Trump has trashed his brand. Will it pay off?

The finger pointers began coming to Trump Tower in 2004. Donald Trump was making the transition from property mogul to TV celebrity in The Apprentice, and fans would head to his iconic skyscraper on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. There they would point an index finger at the 58-storey tower (where the top floor is labelled 68) and