Political Books

The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America

Michael Isikoff and David Corn, authors of Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, sit down to discuss with Chris Riback how the so-called “Russia story” actually started.

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Comey Will Try to Correct the Record on Book Tour

Mike Allen: “Comey has been quiet for nearly a year — fired by President Trump on May 9, precipitating the appointment of special counsel Bob Mueller eight days later. He has heard a lot of lies and misstatements about the FBI that he intends to correct. He didn’t want to be in this position, but is embracing it.”

“There’ll be more announcements about his book tour soon, but he’s eager to go to where his critics are and take them on.”

His book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, is out April 17.

Extreme Secrecy Surrounds Comey’s Book

“James Comey’s book is getting the Harry Potter treatment. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, the upcoming memoir from former FBI director James Comey, is set for publication on April 18 — and with anticipation rivaling that of the cult children’s favorite, the publisher is taking extreme precautions to prevent potentially explosive revelations detailing Comey’s interactions with President Donald Trump from leaking,” Politico reports.

“Instead of circulating multiple print drafts among the editors and agents working on the book, the publisher, Flatiron Books, has implemented a password-protected electronic system so that only those involved in the project have access to it.”

Papadopoulos Testified Trump Wanted ‘Back Channel’

A great new book, Russian Roulette, reports that George Papadopoulos spent months “trying to set up a back channel between the campaign and the Kremlin, in part to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting before Election Day,” according to Mother Jones.

“According to a later court filing, Papadopoulos, who in October 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, aimed to set up an ‘off the record’ meeting between campaign representatives and Putin’s office. Trump has famously denied there was any relationship between his campaign and Moscow. But Russian Roulette reveals that Papadopoulos has told investigators that at a March 31, 2016, meeting Trump held with his foreign policy team, when Papadopoulos informed Trump he had contacts in the United Kingdom who could set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, Trump said this was an ‘interesting’ idea. Trump, according to Papadopoulos’ account, looked at then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a top Trump adviser at the time, as if he expected him to follow up. Afterward, Papadopoulos, working with Russian cutouts, kept pursuing such a meeting.”

Trump Got a Letter from Putin

From Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, a new book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn:

Trump was finally on his way in Russia. And shortly after the Miss Universe event, Agalarov’s daughter showed up at the Miss Universe office in New York City bearing a gift for Trump from Putin. It was a black lacquered box. Inside was a sealed letter from the Russian autocrat. What the letter said has never been revealed.

Any guesses?

Russian Roulette

Out next week: Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

Yahoo News has an excerpt:

What could possibly explain Trump’s unwavering sympathy for the Russian strongman, his refusal to acknowledge Putin’s repressive tactics, his whitewashing of Putin’s abuses in Ukraine and Syria, his dismissal of the murders of Putin’s critics, his blind eye to Putin’s cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at subverting Western democracies?

Trump’s brief trip to Moscow held clues to this mystery. His two days there would later become much discussed because of allegations that he engaged in weird sexual antics while in Russia — claims that were not confirmed. But this visit was significant because it revealed what motivated Trump the most: the opportunity to build more monuments to himself and to make more money. Trump realized that he could attain none of his dreams in Moscow without forging a bond with the former KGB lieutenant colonel who was now the president of Russia.

This trek to Russia was the birth of a bromance — or something darker — that would soon upend American politics and then scandalize Trump’s presidency. And it began in the most improbable way — as the brainstorm of a hustling music publicist trying to juice the career of a second-tier pop singer.

Dinner In Camelot

This looks great: Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House  by Joseph Esposito.

Kirkus Reviews: “Looking back on a time when those in power capitalized on the possibilities and impact of the intellect only agitates our disbelief for today’s state of affairs… An exciting glimpse into a long-gone era of politics and cultural activity.”

‘A Year of Continuous Nightmare’

Just published: LBJ’s 1968 by Kyle Longley.

“1968 was an unprecedented year in terms of upheaval on numerous scales: political, military, economic, social, cultural. In the United States, perhaps no one was more undone by the events of 1968 than President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Kyle Longley leads his readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of what Johnson characterized as the ‘year of a continuous nightmare’.”

The Assault on Intelligence

Coming in May: The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies by Gen. Michael Hayden.

From the introduction: “There is no effort here to build a case for or against collusion. But whatever emerges from Robert Mueller’s investigation, it should not obscure the bigger story, which is still not adequately understood, and which is in a way this book’s climactic case study, namely that Russia has been actively seeking to damage the fabric of American democracy and that the Trump Administration’s glandular aversion to even looking at this squarely, much less mounting a concerted response to it, is an appalling national security lapse.”

“Indeed, there is clear evidence of what I would call convergence, the convergence of a mutually reinforcing swirl of Presidential tweets and statements, Russian influenced social media, alt right websites and talk radio, Russian ‘white’ press like RT and even mainstream U.S. media like Fox News—all of whom do things for their own purposes, but all of which fits nicely with Russian purposes to sharpen and sustain divisions here.”