HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold…
Loading...

House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the… (2018)

by Craig Unger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
703259,522 (4.21)3
"House of Trump, House of Putin offers the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Mafia that ultimately helped win Trump the White House. It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump's inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin's long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that began more than thirty years ago, when the Russian Mafia first targeted Trump properties to launder money, and led to Putin's oligarchs and Mafia kingpins rescuing Trump from a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino bankruptcies in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence. To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991--that it merely evolved, with Trump's apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump's sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to the highest office in the land. He traces Russia's phoenixlike rise from the ashes of the post-Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower. Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential book is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today's world. "--Dust jacket.… (more)

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
I have read numerous books on the 2016 presidential election by both Trump supporters and detractors. I have also read books about cyber warfare and Russia's role in this new and expanding format. None of those books have put everything together as well as this book does making it truly frightening. The author traces Russia's use of real estate owned by Trump to launder money, thus compromising Trump. The Russians were also the ones to save Trump after his infamous bankruptcies, thus compromising him further. Add to that the possibility that they have other compromising information on him which is not hard to imagine based on his prior public activities - sex with porn star and Playboy bunny after wife gave birth to son, Access Hollywood tape, etc. The final straw was Russia's use of hacking, social media and Wikkileaks to advance their candidate's cause. Common sense always leaned in the direction that Trump was a puppet for Putin based on Trump's positions and comments on Putin and Russia, but this book really brings it all together. I highly recommend it to all voters. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Apr 15, 2019 |
Although I could not keep all of the Russian names straight, this detailed time line of the actions involved as the Russians developed their interest in Trump is...frankly, horrifying---especially where we are now, with Trump as the President, exactly where Putin wanted him in the first place---hook, line and sinker. It is hard to believe that the government of the United States and the values this country has stood for can withstand what is happening. A man who loves dictators, in power in this country, and wishes to be just like them---does he have any idea what he has done to become like them? The better question is, does he care? ( )
  nyiper | Oct 21, 2018 |
This is the most terrifying horror story that you will ever read. To know that the U.S. has elected a President who is utterly beholding to Putin and Russian interests and is also not just a criminal in his policies but literally A CRIMINAL in the traditional sense of the word. Not as a metaphor. Not in the sense of of lying or obstruction of justice nor even in the sense of collusion with a foreign country. But as an active partner with the Russian mafia. Trump is essentially a Russian mafia asset. If you read this book, you will leave with little doubts that he is a made man.

I’ve believed Trump was a criminal, in a general way, for a while. I was already aware that he had illegal business practices as, for example, demonstrated by the recent lawsuit in NYC against his charitable foundation, which has alleged that he used the foundation as a checkbook for non-charitable purposes. On the flipside, I also knew, in a general way, that Russian oligarchs had plundered Russia when the Soviet Union fell, although I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant. And I knew that Putin suppressed human rights and freedom of the press. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia reveals the details of the criminality that connects these two in ways that are both shocking and sickening.

More than half of this book is focused on the development of Putin’s power, his government, and the ways in which it interacts with the world. Did you know that Putin is reputed to be the richest man in the world? His estimated worth is roughly $200 billion. Did you know that he made many of his friends into billionaires? Almost all the current oligarchs “bought” companies from the government after the fall of communism for what were essentially pennies on the dollar value. They would pay a few million dollars for a billion-dollar company. They were sold natural gas for a fraction of the actual value by the government that they then sold to the rest of the world at an outrageous profit. They were simply made rich because they supported Putin. They plundered and continue to plunder all the natural resources Russia has at the direction of Putin.

One of the most shocking revelations for me about Russia is that even more than Russia being a kleptocracy by stealing the countries wealth for a handful of individuals including its President, it is also a literal criminal enterprise. The Russian mafia is a division of the FSB (the current name for the former KGB). And Putin is its boss. He’s the don of the Russian mafia, and the President of the country, and the head of the FSB and the master of the oligarchs. The one to rule them all. The Russian mafia deals in the usual criminal enterprises—selling guns and drugs, extortion, and prostitution and human trafficking. And further, the Russian mafia has now diversified into white collar crime. They run companies that engage in real businesses, such as energy trading, but while doing so they perpetrate every scam you can name including cheating taxes, skimming profits and more. They have skillfully blended corporate institutions with organized crime tactics.

Unger outlines the evolution of the Russian mafia and its relationship with Putin and other oligarchs both internationally and in the United States. Brighton Beach New York is a center of Russian organized crime in the U.S. Interestingly, they have frequently teamed up with Italian mafia characters on diverse financial scams, such as skimming tax money from hundreds of gas stations.

Now how does this connect with Trump? Repeatedly. Frequently. Constantly. Here are some highlights of the numerous connections. Trump was bankrupt after his Atlantic casino failed in the 1980s. He was in huge debt and no reputable banks in the U.S. would loan to him. He was on the brink of complete failure. Then Russian oligarchs and Russian mafia connected figures began to rebuild his wealth. How? They developed a simple symbiotic relationship with him. They made him wealthy again, and he laundered their criminal wealth. The oligarchs want to get their money out of Russia, since that economy was a field for plunder but not a reliable source to maintain wealth, and Trump real estate properties helped them launder it.

Many shady practices have surrounded Trump properties. For example, a group of Russian mafia figures were running a sports-betting corporation out of Trump tower until they were eventually arrested. They had bought an entire floor. The overarching key point to be aware of is that roughly 1/3 of Trump’s wealth, after his casino collapse, came directly from Russian oligarchs and other Russian figures buying Trump condo units and properties—usually through untraceable LLCs. And that doesn’t even account for his properties in other countries, where the author has no access to financial records. It’s quite likely that an even larger percentage of his wealth came directly from Russian oligarchs. And beyond Russians buying properties in his towers to launder their money, he actually partnered with a company called Bayrock (that is now defunct due to diverse legal issues), that was run by Russian-oligarch connected individuals to develop Trump-branded properties. Bayrock would finance the properties (likely with Russian or Ukrainian sourced funds) then arrange for all the construction and development. Trump made money from sales by licensing Bayrock his name. Through his partnership with Bayrock, Russia was funneling money to make Trump wealthy again (with Trump himself having to do next to nothing) and simultaneously creating properties to launder more Russian wealth.

As former KGB operatives have told Unger, the Russian government is constantly seeking political assets in other countries. They also seek to destabilize democratic institutions and global partnerships, such as between the U.S and the EU. Chaos and right-wing regimes provide Russian criminal enterprises more opportunities to make money, and they weaken criticism and opposition to his regime. So grooming Trump to do Putin’s bidding would be a no-brainer for the FSB ever since they discovered he was a great tool for money laundering.

Unger presents the story of numerous oligarch and mafia connected figures who have connections to Trump in diverse ways, beyond the money laundering. In fact, he carefully itemizes nearly 60 individuals with Russian mafia and oligarch connections who have had relationships with Trump ever since the 1980s. One fact that surprised me—Trump had Presidential aspirations that date back to that time. The Russians had long term plans to build him up and groom him as both a financial and political asset.

Regarding the question of whether Russia has “kompromat” on Trump. Unger provides some interesting background. Per his interviews with former KGB agents, they explained that developing kompromat on potential assets is common practice. It is one of the many tools that the Russian secret service leverage to achieve their ends. They are trained in getting it. Trump’s first trip to Russia was planned by Intourist, a department of the FSB. He has unaccounted for days in his Miss Universe trip. He’s a womanizer. What do you think?

I want to reiterate some key point. Russia is a criminal state. The Russian mafia is a division of the Russian government. Putin is the head of Russian mafia. He can grant support to criminal enterprises or summarily withdraw it and have a billionaire thrown in prison or killed. Trump pursues goals that align with Russian interests, such as destabilizing the U.S./E.U. partnership. Trump has facilitated billions and billions of dollars of money laundering by Russia oligarchs and other shady Russian mafia connected figures. He’s even partnered directly with them through Bayrock. Regardless of whether Putin has kompromat on Trump, it hardly matters. They made him a billionaire after his wealth collapsed. Of course he’s a Russian asset. They own him.

House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia is thoroughly and compellingly argued. Unger outlines the case in arresting and irresistible fashion. This is high drama and high treason. I wish every citizen would read this book. ( )
  David_David_Katzman | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"House of Trump, House of Putin offers the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Mafia that ultimately helped win Trump the White House. It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump's inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin's long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that began more than thirty years ago, when the Russian Mafia first targeted Trump properties to launder money, and led to Putin's oligarchs and Mafia kingpins rescuing Trump from a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino bankruptcies in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence. To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991--that it merely evolved, with Trump's apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump's sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to the highest office in the land. He traces Russia's phoenixlike rise from the ashes of the post-Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower. Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential book is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today's world. "--Dust jacket.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Book description
Unger documents approximately 1,300 transactions with Russian mobsters; real estate transactions that were all cash purchases made by anonymous shell companies that were quite obviously fronts for criminal money-laundering operations. Bayrock Group is a real estate development company located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. The founder was a guy named Tevfik Arif and the managing director was Felix Sater, a man with numerous ties to Russian oligarchs and Russian intelligence. Bayrock proceeded to partner with Trump in 2005 and helped him develop a new business model, which he desperately needed. They supplied development funds, Trump supplied his name.
Unger collected information that was largely in plain sight and put it all together for a damning portrait.
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.21)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5 1
4
4.5
5 5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,086,396 books! | Top bar: Always visible