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Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win Paperback – November 16, 2017
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About the Author
Luke Harding is a journalist, writer, and award-winning foreign correspondent for the Guardian. Between 2007 and 2011, he was the Guardian’s Moscow bureau chief. The Kremlin expelled him from the country in the first case of its kind since the Cold War. He is the author of five previous nonfiction books: A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko and Putin’s War with the West, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, Mafia State: How One Reporter Became an Enemy of the Brutal New Russia, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, and The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken (the last two co-written by David Leigh.) Two have been made into Hollywood movies. His books have been translated into 30 languages. Harding lives near London with his wife, the freelance journalist Phoebe Taplin, and their two children.
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Harding tells the story from the perspective of a highly knowledgeable outside observer who can't believe what he's seeing as he witnesses our country under attack--meaning he can't believe we weren't doing anything about it. He does an excellent job of explaining who Christopher Steele is--giving biographical details that establish his Russian expertise and experience--and how he came to write the famous dossier at the center of the Trump-Russia investigation. He also guides you through the swampy and confusing world of Russian money laundering and corrupt financial dealings.He's especially good at "follow the money" stuff.
He goes over a lot of the same ground other books cover, but with insights about the Russian side of the story that other authors don't provide--again, especially the dirty money details. He's very good at giving the context and extensive info about Flynn's and Manafort's Russian connections, both guys near and dear to Putin and his oligarchs. Harding has written other books on Russia and he convinces you he knows what he's talking about.
As I understand it, Putin's goal in electing Trump seems to be to get sanctions removed so he can continue his corrupt business dealings (which involve laundering money all over the globe) and invade and exploit nearby countries that he thinks are his for the taking. Ultimately he wants to weaken the West and restore Russia to its USSR superpower glory--in fact, he wants nothing less than world domination. Putin is a freaking bonafide Bond villain.
Harding also convinces you that Trump is neck-deep in shady Russian deals. The Deutsche Bank part of the story is something I never really understood, but Harding explains how they were laundering Russian money while lending millions to Trump. Trump owes Deutsche Bank around $300 million right now. We still don't have all the answers about Trump's connections to this bank because no one will talk. Kushner too is indebted to Deutsche Bank for millions of dollars. The full story behind this has yet to be told--I hope Mueller gets to the bottom of it.
Harding postulates that Russia is probably blackmailing Trump--everywhere you look, he's obligated to Russians. The fact that he flatters Putin constantly and says he believes Putin over the analysis of all our intelligence agencies, and in fact undermines our government agencies and rule of law is more than suspect. He tells you what he thinks of Mueller and what will happen with that investigation.
I liked this book very much--it's extremely informative and clearly written. I'll definitely read more of Harding's books.
This is the book you wish, for the sake of humanity, would be a work of fiction written by Le Carre, rather than a work of epic reporting that so disturbingly illustrates the principle that truth is stranger than fiction. Indeed, had Le Carre published this a couple of years ago, critics would have thought the old master had lost his way, for the story, while utterly gripping,even terrifying, is too farfetched.
Yet, here it all is masterfully reported by one of the great journalists of our time: the shocking, endless ties between Trump, and so many of Trump’s associates and political appointees who are now running our country, and Russia. Here are the secret meetings; the malodorous, international financial transactions; the hackings; strange doings of the candidate and eventual president; the endless, lurid, amoral, corrupt characters that connect Trump and Putin.
Of particular interest in this volume, something I haven’t seen anywhere else, are the detailed biographies of the Russians in this strange saga. In the daily media coverage, the backgrounds of the numerous Russian characters are rarely explored in any depth--yet they are crucial to understanding what is happening. Harding, onetime Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, brings all of these characters to life, with their charmed business biographies, and their nearly universal ties to both Putin and Russian intelligence. Particularly harrowing, a nightmarish excursion with a knife edge, is the exploration of the possible fates of Russians who may have been sources for Christopher Steele’s now famous Trump Dossier.
In the daily, often simplistic media grind, the background question seems to be: Is their an impeachable offense, a smoking gun? This book, in the depth and scope of its meticulousness reporting, raises a much different and, perhaps, more important question: With or without a provable crime at the hand of the president, is any of this even remotely acceptable? Is it tenable to have a President of the United States with so many corrupt associations? With mysterious, gravity-defying business transactions? With hidden tax returns? With his obsequiousness to a corrupt, brutal foreign leader? With such obvious doubts regarding his fundamental loyalty to the United States of America?
This book isn’t about connecting a few dots, this is about our president’s seemingly endless connections to dark forces that fear truth, loathe democracy, worship power and money, and are utterly ruthless in their remarkably successful tactics at home, and around the world. It’s all here in sobering, shocking detail. Read it, then hug your loved ones, and pray for the world.
Again, Harding provides a documentary tour de force! This book is organized, authentic, totally in-depth, and vitally relevant. Because Harding is British and writes for "The Guardian", his work is not tarnished with American political bias. He is able to be objective without trying to be "politically correct" in any current sense of that pejorative. I am not going into the type of detail and analysis that I expended on "A Very Expensive Poison". I will simply say: if you have any interest in an authentic and honest analysis of the REAL news of the present moment, Harding will provide it in abundance!