Stephen F. Hayes

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and author of two New York Times bestsellers: Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President and The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America. He is a regular Fox All Stars panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier.

Before joining The Weekly Standard, Hayes was a senior writer for National Journal's Hotline. He also served for six years as Director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. His work has appeared in the New York Post, the Washington Times, Salon, National Review, and Reason. He has been a commentator on CNN, The McLaughlin Group, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and C-SPAN.

A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and DePauw University, Hayes was born and raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Stories by Stephen F. Hayes

More Than a Smidgen

Jul 21, 2014

The facts are simple. The IRS systematically targeted conservative and Tea Party groups after their activism proved decisive in the 2010 midterm elections—Obama’s famous “shellacking.” The effects of this targeting were widespread. Some Tea Party groups were neutered in the months before the 2012 presidential election.

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IRS Lawyers Ready for Busy Week Ahead

1:04 PM, Jul 03, 2014

IRS lawyers ought to enjoy themselves this holiday weekend because, as the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott reports, "they'll be busier than normal next week." IRS counsel will make two separate appearances next week in court to explain and defend the agency's handling of Lois Lerner's

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More Unraveling

Hagel’s pathetic testimony on the Bergdahl swap.
Jun 23, 2014

As the Obama administration’s case for the Bowe Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner exchange further unraveled last week, the geo-political implications of the deal became clearer. They’re not pretty.

In the hours before Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel clicked on the microphone to testify about the swap on June 11, Obama administration officials told reporters to expect a forceful defense of the exchange and an aggressive refutation of the criticism that has attended it.

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The Unraveling

How the Obama administration’s story on Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban fell apart
Jun 16, 2014

Late in the afternoon of Saturday, May 31, Barack Obama strode confidently to a lectern in the White House Rose Garden flanked by the parents of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who had gone missing from his platoon in the mountains of Afghanistan in June 2009.

“This morning I called Bob and Jani Bergdahl and told them that after nearly five years in captivity, their son, Bowe, is coming home,” Obama said. 

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The Fall of Mosul

3:50 PM, Jun 10, 2014

Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, fell today to jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a group with long ties to al Qaeda. Parts of Kirkuk, ninety miles to the southeast, are under ISIS control and the fighting there continues. The implications for Iraq, for the region, and for U.S. national security are monumental. 

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Did Gitmo Detainees Know of Transfer Before Congress?

3:53 PM, Jun 09, 2014

Did the detainees in Guantanamo Bay know about the transfer of five senior Taliban commanders before members of Congress?

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Excuses Excuses

Jun 09, 2014

Since 2009, the world has been trying to make sense of America’s foreign and national security policies under Barack Obama. Allies and enemies, historians and scholars, the president’s critics and his supporters—all have struggled to define, or even discern, an Obama Doctrine. So last week, the man optimally positioned to elucidate the president’s vision sought to provide some clarity.

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Obama Flips on Taliban Commander

Three years ago, Obama went to court to keep a Taliban leader at Gitmo. Now he's out.
10:00 AM, Jun 07, 2014

While some top Obama administration officials are downplaying threats posed the five senior Taliban officials released from Guantanamo in the prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, not long ago the administration went to court to prevent one of those men from going free.

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'We Swore to an Oath and We Upheld Ours. He Did Not.'

The soldiers in Bowe Bergdahl's platoon speak up.
2:45 PM, Jun 02, 2014

The Obama administration is facing mounting questions about the controversial prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from jihadists in Pakistan in exchange for the transfer and ultimate release of five senior Taliban commanders previously held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

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Hillary's Failed Benghazi Spin

8:10 AM, May 30, 2014

Hillary Clinton is right about Benghazi—or at least she's right about one thing. 

According to a story by Maggie Haberman about the Benghazi chapter in Clinton's forthcoming book Hard Choices, the former secretary of state contends that some of her critics have badly mischaracterized the now infamous question she asked at a January 23, 2012, congressional hearing: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

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Hayes Podcast: Obama's in Search of a Doctrine

Hosted by Michael Graham.
2:05 PM, May 28, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on President Obama's speech at West Point.

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Wounded Warriors, Upset About VA, Take Memorial Day Ride

Visit VP Biden.
12:10 PM, May 27, 2014

The expletives were flying during a ceremony for wounded warriors at the vice president's residence on Memorial Day.

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Who’s Crazy?

May 19, 2014

Benghazi, crazy. That’s the association the White House and its allies want to encourage as a House Select Committee begins what should be the most thorough investigation of the Benghazi attacks to date. The White House wants to delegitimize the process before it begins and preemptively discredit the findings. So last week senior White House adviser David Plouffe claimed that “a very loud, delusional minority” is driving the Republicans on Benghazi, and former representative Jane Harman compared questions about Benghazi to conspiracy theories about Vince Foster and aliens.

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Benghazi Lies

May 12, 2014

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last summer by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration last week released 41 documents related to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. An email from the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has received most of the attention. In it, Rhodes laid out four goals for Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who would be appearing on five Sunday talk shows 36 hours later.

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Update: Boehner to Form Select Committee on Benghazi

9:29 AM, May 02, 2014

UPDATE: Other news organizations confirm the report below that House speaker John Boehner will announce the formation of a select committee on Benghazi, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy. 


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Reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs

12:15 PM, Apr 28, 2014

Senior writer Stephen F. Hayes led a discussion last Wednesday with North Carolina senator Richard Burr and Concerned Veterans for America on the need for Congress to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs. Watch the entire event below:

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‘Legitimate Concerns’

Why cooperate with Putin’s propaganda?
Apr 14, 2014

A new Gallup poll of Ukrainians undermines the main rationale for Russia’s aggression towards its neighbor and calls into question the U.S. approach to diplomacy with the Russians, which treats some of the Russian claims as legitimate. The findings of the national survey also cast further doubt on the results of the recent referendum on Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

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Will He or Won’t He?

11:01 AM, Apr 08, 2014

In the two days since Jeb Bush’s interesting and provocative interview with Fox News reporter Shannon Bream, many commentators and analysts have parsed his words and offered thoughts on what they mean for a prospective 2016 presidential bid. There’s a good reason for this interest. Bush is a well-regarded former governor of a big state and a favorite of big GOP donors.

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Hayes Podcast: The Benghazi Story Congress Heard Doesn't Hold Water

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:45 PM, Apr 02, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the Benghazi testimony in Congress by former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell.

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Condi Rice Blasts Obama on Weakness, Leadership

Says we can't afford to be war weary.
2:45 PM, Mar 27, 2014

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Barack Obama of dramatically weakening the United States' position in the world, drawing a straight line between Obama’s ever-yielding foreign policy and the increasing troubles around the world.

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A Tea Party of Rivals

The Ted Cruz-Rand Paul foreign policy split.
Mar 24, 2014

Ted Cruz is not in a fighting mood. The Texas senator is sitting in a booth at the Capital Grille, an upscale restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue, about halfway between the Capitol, where Cruz works, and the White House, where many suspect he’d like to end up. His jacket is off, his light blue tie is tucked behind his crisp white dress shirt as he casually picks at the salmon filet on the dinner plate in front of him and sips a glass of Pinot Noir.

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Obama’s Fantasy-Based Foreign Policy

Mar 17, 2014

On February 23, five days before Russia invaded Ukraine, National Security Adviser Susan Rice appeared on Meet the Press and shrugged off suggestions that Russia was preparing any kind of military intervention: “It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate.” A return to a “Cold War construct” isn’t necessary, Rice insisted, because such thinking “is long out of date” and “doesn’t reflect the realities of the 21st century.” Even if Vladimir Putin sees the world this way, Rice argued, it is “not in the United States’ interests” to do so.

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Code Chaos

Another nightmare for doctors, courtesy of the federal government
Mar 10, 2014

Jacksonville, Fla.
Ever considered suicide by jellyfish? Have you ended up in the hospital after being injured during the forced landing of your spacecraft? Or been hurt when you were sucked into the engine of an airplane or when your horse-drawn carriage collided with a trolley?

Chances are slim.

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Hayes Podcast: Why the Press Won't Get Serious About the IRS Scandal

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:10 PM, Mar 05, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the IRS Scandal, Lois Lerner, and why the press won't get serious about it.

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The Benghazi Cover-up (cont.)

How the CIA’s No. 2 misled Congress
Mar 03, 2014

Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, then acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false.

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Lawmakers: CIA #2 Lied to Us About Benghazi

ADVANCE article from the March 3, 2014 issue.
4:12 PM, Feb 20, 2014

Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false.

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Rumors of al Qaeda’s Demise

Feb 10, 2014

For five years, the Obama administration has touted its success in the war against al Qaeda. In formal addresses, daily press briefings, and campaign speeches top administration officials have celebrated the “decimation” of al Qaeda and predicted its imminent extinction.

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A Small, Incoherent State of the Union Address

1:16 AM, Jan 29, 2014

President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union Address on Tuesday that was important less for what he said than for what it says about him.

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The Real Scandal

Why are the Benghazi killers still at large?
Jan 27, 2014

Months and months ago, when Barack Obama could be bothered to say anything at all about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, the president promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. That was before White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed the attacks as something that “happened a long time ago.”

It’s been 16 months. The U.S. government has neither captured nor killed a single participant in those attacks, which left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.

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Defining al Qaeda Down

Jan 20, 2014

The fallout continues from the New York Times’s failed attempt to change the narrative on the Ben-ghazi attacks. The latest hit comes from an unexpected source—the Washington Post:

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