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Based on exclusive interviews with the president and his staff, The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game tells the real story of what Donald Trump is like, who influences him, how he makes decisions, what he says about the people around him, and how he operates when the television lights go off, while portraying the inside story of the successes that have already brought solid results as well as the stumbles that have turned off even longtime supporters and undercut his agenda.
Never before has an American president had so much impact on the country and the world in so short a time as Donald Trump. Yet no president has stirred so much controversy, dominating media coverage and conversation both pro and con.
Months after Trump took office, consumer confidence hit a 17-year high, unemployment plummeted to the lowest level in 17 years, and the stock market zoomed to repeated record highs.
At the same time, ISIS was nearly defeated, Arab countries banded together to stop financing terrorists and promoting radical Islamic ideology, and Trump's decision to send missiles into Syria and his strident warnings to North Koerean leader Kim Jong-un made it clear to adversaries that they take on the United States at their peril.
Yet for all the media coverage, Trump remains a cipher. Ronald Kessler has known Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for two decades and understands him better than any other journalist. Crammed with media-grabbing revelations, The Trump White House is the unvarnished and unbiased inside story that answers the question: Who is Donald Trump?
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By Scott Fitzsimmons on 04-05-18
Kessler’s book mirrors the style of Dr Ronny Jackson’s press conference on the state of Trump’s health. It contains so many blatant misstatements of facts and triumphalist claims, many of which are shown to be false by other information on the same page, that you’re just left thinking “You know, a ‘D’ turns into a ‘B’ so easily. You just got greedy.”
For example, Kessler will mention multiple examples of Trump yelling at his staff or blatantly insulting them, and then uncritically repeat statements by Hope Hicks about Trump being such a nice man to everyone further down the same page.
The book slavishly praises Melania Trump, claiming that she’s provides excellent, well-thought out advice on all sorts of policy issues. Given that virtually every major policy initiative pursued by the Trump administration has failed to gain support from congress, not been implemented, or been seemingly forgotten about, this is a gutsy claim. Even if the Trump administration had enjoyed more success, it would be pretty remarkable for someone with no apparent knowledge or experience in any policy issue area to be a font of great advice. Is she just a really good guesser? Oddly, the book shits on Ivanka and Jared for their lack of knowledge and experience. Kessler also claims that she routinely poses her own questions at Trump’s senior staff, despite the fact that she has almost never attended meetings where policy issues have been discussed.
But what’s most strange about this part of the book is how unnecessary it is. Frankly, no one cares if the First Lady participated in policy discussions. It isn’t her job. Why waste time pretending that she’s great at the job she not only doesn’t (as far as anyone can tell) do but doesn’t even need to do?
Kessler makes the bizarre claim that Melania not only wanted Trump to run for president but also enjoys being the First Lady. It’s pretty well known at this point that she barely performs the role at all and spends as much time away from Washington, and her husband, as possible (she’s a closely-monitored public figure, after all), so why did Kessler feel he could claim otherwise?
Kessler’s defence of Trump on the Russian collusion/Comey firing amounts to writing “no collusion!” over and over and peppering in several false statements about the meaning of the US’s obstruction of justice laws.
Kessler goes on to make claims, sometimes mentioning statistics, about “yearly” trends in an issue area, such as immigration figures, despite the fact that Trump had only been in office for one year, at most, when Kessler would have had to submit the final manuscript to his editors.
Toward the end, it stops even talking about the Trump administration and goes on a rant about affirmative action, black lives matter, and police shootings. Kessler also makes a pitch for assassinating Kim Jong Un with poison-carrying robotic insects. If you ask me, this is a *fantastic* way to deal with the leader of a nuclear-armed country.
And when it finally gets to the “exclusive interview with President Trump,” as if it’s impressive to interview a public figure who constantly grants interviews and issues several public statements every day, Kessler’s questions took the form of “The Democrats are a bunch of obstructionist assholes, aren’t they?” and “Why are the Democrats having so much trouble accepting how fantastic your ideas and policies are?”
Ultimately, as a reader, you’re left to make a clear choice: either dozens of other journalists, each with their own sources, have been wrong about the Trump administration or Kessler is wrong. One of these choices is simply much more plausible than the other.
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