Robert Costa (journalist)

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Robert Costa
Costa in 2018
Born (1985-10-14) October 14, 1985 (age 37)
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
University of Cambridge (MPhil)
EmployerCBS News
Parent(s)Thomas Eugene Costa
Anne-Dillon Marie Dalton Costa[2]

Robert Costa (born October 14, 1985) is an American political reporter who is the chief election and campaign correspondent for CBS News.[3] Prior to joining CBS in 2022, Costa was a longtime national political reporter for The Washington Post. Previously, he was a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week on PBS.[4][5] He is the co-author with Bob Woodward of Peril, a # 1 New York Times bestseller on the final days of the Trump presidency, including the 2021 United States Capitol attack.[6]

Education and early life[edit]

Costa was born October 14, 1985, in Richmond, Virginia, the son of attorneys Anne-Dillon (née Dalton) and Thomas E. Costa.[1][7][8] His father worked as an attorney for pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.[9] He has three siblings.[10] He is of partial Italian descent.[11]

He grew up in Lower Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he attended Pennsbury High School and graduated in 2004. While Costa was at Pennsbury, Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger profiled him in the book Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School.[12] He was also friends with actor Zach Woods and journalist Hallie Jackson, two fellow Pennsbury students.[13]

Costa gained notice during high school for bringing rock musicians such as John Mayer, Eve 6, and Maroon 5 to perform at the school. He also reported for The Bucks County Courier Times, interviewing bands and reviewing concerts in the Philadelphia area, and covered professional and local sports for PHS-TV, the student television station.[14]

He earned a bachelor's degree in American studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2008 and a master's degree in politics from the University of Cambridge in 2009. During his time at Notre Dame, Costa held internships at PBS' Charlie Rose, ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. On campus, he hosted and produced an interview program for ND-TV called Office Hours.

At Cambridge, Costa was an active member of the Cambridge Union debating society and focused his research on Winston Churchill and United Kingdom–United States relations. His adviser was Andrew Gamble, a British academic and author.

Costa was on the board of trustees at Notre Dame from 2014 to 2017.[15][16]


Costa was a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal.[17] In 2010, he was hired as a reporter by the conservative magazine National Review.[18][19] In December 2012, he was promoted to the position of Washington editor for National Review.[19] While at National Review, Costa was a contributor for CNBC, appearing on The Kudlow Report, and for MSNBC.[19]

In 2013, during the United States federal government shutdown, Costa's reporting on the Republican Party in Congress was widely praised.[20][17] The New Republic called him "the most important reporter in the country over the past few weeks"[18] and Slate writer David Weigel called him "omnipresent."[21] New York magazine called him "the golden boy of the government shutdown."[20]

Costa has not identified his political views publicly, saying only that he's not on the "conservative team."[18] He has cited Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Robert Caro[22] and Tim Russert[23] as influences.

In November 2013, he left National Review for The Washington Post, joining the paper officially in January 2014.[17]

On December 10, 2015, Costa was named a political analyst for both NBC and MSNBC.[24] Costa is known for his deep sourcing within national political circles. He has interviewed President Donald Trump on multiple occasions. Politico has called him the "Trump whisperer."[25]

In March 2016, Costa interviewed Trump with Bob Woodward,[26] who has been a mentor to him.[27] Costa served as guest host of PBS' Charlie Rose in March 2017.

In April 2017, Costa became the moderator of the long-running Washington Week news magazine program on PBS, following the death of moderator Gwen Ifill.[28] Costa frequently hosted top mainstream news reporters on the program. "I've always worked to be highly disciplined in my reporting. ... to be sensitive to constant objectivity," Costa told the Associated Press in 2017.[29]

On January 1, 2021, Costa hosted his last episode of the Washington Week program on PBS. He left the television program to write a book with Bob Woodward.[30] The book, entitled Peril, was released in September 2021.[31] The book debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list and spent nine weeks[32] on the Times' bestseller list for nonfiction books.[33] To promote the book, Woodward and Costa appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,[34] The View, Meet the Press,[35] Good Morning America,[36] and other programs. In October 2021, Costa was a solo guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.[37] The book has been cited in subpoenas issued by the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.[38]

In 2022, he left The Washington Post to join CBS News as the network's chief election and campaign correspondent.[3] CBS said Costa would be a "pivotal correspondent" in its coverage of the 2022 midterm elections, the 2024 presidential election, and "the evolving state of American democracy."[39] Costa told the Associated Press that The Washington Post is a "first class organization" and that he was open to potential collaborations between the newspaper and CBS News.[40] Costa has also filled in on the CBS Weekend News on occasion.[41]


  • Woodward, Bob; Costa, Robert (September 21, 2021). Peril. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-9821-8291-5.[42]


  1. ^ a b "Q&A Robert Costa, Sep 11 2015 - Video -".
  2. ^ "Thomas E. Costa and Miss Dalton Lawyers Married", The New York Times, October 26, 1980.
  3. ^ a b Michael M. Grynbaum (January 20, 2022). "Robert Costa, a Noted Political Reporter, Is Joining CBS News". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  4. ^ "Meet Robert Costa, new Washington Week moderator". Washington Week. April 20, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  5. ^ "Washington Week Host Robert Costa Departs Program". THIRTEEN - New York Public Media. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  6. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - Books - Oct. 10, 2021 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  7. ^ "Anne Costa (née MacNamara)". The Star-Ledger. October 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "James E. Costa". The Star-Ledger. January 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "I Love My Job: Robert Costa, From Pennsbury High to WashPo's Donald Trump Guy". Philadelphia Magazine. May 1, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  10. ^ Vineberg, Andy (April 25, 2017). "New 'Washington Week' host Robert Costa's journalism career began in Courier Times cafeteria". Bucks County Courier Times. Levittown, Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  11. ^ Costa, Robert (July 3, 2019). "Robert Costa on Twitter". Twitter. My late Italian-American grandfather, Jim Costa, was the son of immigrants and respected Iacocca. On every visit, I remember seeing Iacocca's autobiography on his bookshelf. RIP.
  12. ^ Smerconish, Michael (October 27, 2013). "The Pulse: Bucks native makes a splash in Washington". Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Robert Costa, WaPo national political reporter, moderator of PBS's "Washington Week," and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC". Politico.
  14. ^ "Interview: Yardley's Robert Costa, from Maroon 5 to Trump - Philly".
  15. ^ ENR/PAZ // University Communications: Web // University of Notre Dame (May 16, 2014). "Notre Dame makes additions to Fellows and Board // News // Notre Dame News // University of Notre Dame". Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  16. ^ Report, South Bend Tribune. "New members elected to ND board of trustees". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  17. ^ a b c Gold, Hadas. "Robert Costa to The Washington Post". POLITICO. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Tracy, Marc (October 14, 2013). "Robert Costa: I'm Not On the "Conservative Team"". New Republic. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "Morning Hire: National Review Names Costa D.C. Editor". Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Coscarelli, Joe. "How Robert Costa Became the Golden Boy of the Government Shutdown". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  21. ^ Weigel, David (July 19, 2013). "After Losing Big on Senate Strategy, Ted Cruz Pledges to Shut Down the Government Unless Obamacare Is Defunded". Slate. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "How Robert Costa Became the Golden Boy of the Government Shutdown". New York Magazine. October 17, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  23. ^ Costa, Robert (June 16, 2008). "Russert's Career Advice: Just Do It". WSJ. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  24. ^ Gold, Hadas (December 10, 2015). "NBC, MSNBC name Robert Costa political analyst". Politico. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  25. ^ Glasser, Susan B. "2016 election 16 breakout media stars". Politico. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  26. ^ Woodward, Bob (April 2, 2016). "Transcript: Donald Trump interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  27. ^ Chotiner, Isaac (April 12, 2016). "Bob Woodward of the Washington Post on Trump, Bush, and web journalism". Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  28. ^ McCarthy, Ellen (April 20, 2017). "Post reporter Robert Costa takes over helm of PBS's Washington Week". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  29. ^ "No snark allowed PBS Washington Week stays true to form". U.S. News & World Report.
  30. ^ "Washington Week Host Robert Costa Departs Program". New York Public Media. December 23, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  31. ^ Woodward, Bob; Costa, Robert (September 21, 2021). Peril. ISBN 978-1-9821-8291-5.
  32. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers - Books - Jan. 23, 2022 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  33. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers - Books - Oct. 10, 2021 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  34. ^ The Big Lie Is "Not Some Passing Storm, It's The Climate In The Republican Party" - Robert Costa, retrieved January 27, 2022
  35. ^ Full Woodward & Costa: Trump 'Wants Power Back', retrieved January 27, 2022
  36. ^ Bob Woodward and Robert Costa discuss new book, 'Peril' l GMA, retrieved January 27, 2022
  37. ^ "Trump's strategy to overturn the 2020 election didn't work. Next time it might". Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  38. ^ "Jan. 6 committee subpoenas 4 from Trump's inner circle". POLITICO. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  39. ^ "ROBERT COSTA JOINS CBS NEWS AS CHIEF ELECTION & CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT". ViacomCBS Press Express. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  40. ^ "'Peril' co-author Robert Costa moves from Post to CBS News". AP NEWS. January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  41. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (January 20, 2022). "Robert Costa, a Noted Political Reporter, Is Joining CBS News". The New York Times.
  42. ^ Woodward, Bob; Costa, Robert (September 21, 2021). Peril. ISBN 978-1-9821-8291-5.

External links[edit]