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.
Unger’s argument is that Trump had been targeted by the Russian mafia, possibly acting together with political structures, for three decades. Much of the book alternates between the backstories of Trump and Vladimir Putin, like narrative strands in a novel destined to meet in the denouement. In one half we have Trump swimming in dirty money as he runs his early business empire; in the other a portrait of mafia don Semion Mogilevich, plus a recap of Putin’s rise to power ... As far as can be made out from the book, Unger did not travel to Russia himself, nor did he carry out more than a handful of his own interviews. As a former Moscow correspondent, most of the information, sources and colourful nuggets made familiar reading. There were also a few minor but grating errors when it came to Moscow geography and chronology ... My main problem with the book is the subtitle’s promise to deliver the 'untold story' of Trump and Putin. Given the non-disclosure agreement I had to sign to see the text for review, and the leaks of the book’s 'bombshell' revelations to tabloid newspapers, it now feels like an exaggeration worthy of Trump himself ... Though engaging, this fresh look at Donald Trump’s links to Russia adds little to the story
Of all the allegations contained in the 'Steele dossier,' the urtext of President Trump’s possible ties to Russia, one has long stood out as the most compromising, because it would be evidence of a political and business relationship between Trump and Russia that predated his campaign for the White House. An intelligence exchange, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele writes, 'I had been running between' Trump’s team and the Kremlin, with the direct knowledge of Russian President Vladimir Putin.The precise nature and location of that 'intelligence exchange' have never been fully explained. But journalist Craig Unger thinks he may have found it.
In Craig Unger's House of Trump, House of Putin, Russian names rush past the reader faster than the Cossack cavalry in Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, starting with Vladimir Putin, Felix Sater and Semion Mogilevich. Putin is, of course, the Russian president for whom President Donald Trump has a bizarre fixation ... Unger, a veteran journalist and author, takes the reader on a veritable tour of sleazy night clubs, restaurants and resorts frequented by Russian oligarchs and criminals in this book subtitled The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia. ... Unger...cites dozens of books and journalistic accounts of events. He's weak, however, on the primary sources needed to sway a skeptical reader, much less a jury.