American Oligarchs

American Oligarchs

The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power

Book - 2020
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In American Oligarchs, award-winning investigative journalist Andrea Bernstein tells the story of the Trump and Kushner families like never before. Their journey to the White House is a story of survival and loss, crime and betrayal, that stretches from the Klondike Gold Rush, through Nazi-occupied Poland and across the American Century, to our new gilded age. In building and maintaining their dynastic wealth, these families came to embody the rising nationalism and inequality that has pushed the United States to the brink of oligarchy.Building on her landmark reporting for the acclaimed podcast Trump, Inc. and The New Yorker, Bernstein's painstaking detective work brings to light new information about the families' arrival as immigrants to America, their paths to success, and the business and personal lives of the president and his closest family members.Bernstein traces how the two families ruthlessly harnessed New York and New Jersey machine politics to gain valuable tax breaks and grew rich on federal programs that bolstered the middle class. She shows how the Trump Organization, denied credit by American banks, turned to shady international capital. She reveals astonishing new details about Charles Kushner's attempts to ensnare his brother-in-law with a prostitute and explores how Jared Kushner and his father used a venerable New York newspaper to bolster their business empire.Drawing on more than two hundred interviews and more than one hundred thousand pages of documents, many previously unseen or long forgotten, Bernstein shows how the Trumps and the Kushners repeatedly broke rules and then leveraged secrecy, intimidation, and prosecutorial and judicial power to avoid legal consequences.The result is a compelling narrative that details how the Trump and Kushner dynasties encouraged and profited from a system of corruption, dark money, and influence trading, and that reveals the historical turning points and decisions--on taxation, regulation, white-collar crime, and campaign finance laws--that have brought us to where we are today.
Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781324001874
Branch Call Number: 973.933 TRUMP D BERNSTEI
Characteristics: 484 pages ; 25 cm


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inthestacks Jun 30, 2020

Bernstein's meticulously researched history of these two families is in-depth and eloquent. Even those familiar with the extent of Trump’s long history of corruption will be astounded by how entrenched and globally far-reaching it is. Sadly, the Kushner family, Jared, his father, Charles, and grandfather, Joseph, have, like the Trump family, all used their wealth and power to manipulate the system, coerce the players, and strong-arm those who have stood in their way, all in the pursuit of prestige and power. Jared, like his father-in-law, is known to hold grudges and punish those who have tried to hold him and his family accountable or attempted to restrain his avarice. That these two men currently occupy the White House is all the more damnable for American democracy.

Feb 10, 2020

Sadly, I doubt few Trump believers will actually read this book, simply dismissing it as fake news or liberal propaganda. Andrea Bernstein does a deep dive into the Kushner and Trump families, both of whom are immigrants (but, you know, the good kind) and made their money in real estate. They also made their money by avoiding paying taxes whenever possible. For many of us, the book will simply confirm our worst fears, namely that the president (and those around him) is a congenital liar, a con man, a man whose only loyalty is to money and himself. The reporting is excellent, but it is a grim read. Bernstein is also the co-host of the podcast Trump, Inc. Also recommended is Jane Meyer's "Dark Money."

Feb 05, 2020

The history of the origins and merger of the Trump and Kushner Organized Crime Syndicates into one crime family; how they were able to steal the White House by committing Treason in broad daylight, destroy the last vestiges of U.S. quasi-democracy and replace it with Fascism, all while plundering the U.S Treasury and the rest of the World.


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Apr 26, 2021

“The sales team, with the Trumps acting as chief marketers (of Trump SoHo hotel/condo apartments), let out a stream of positive numbers to buyers and the press: 31% sold, 53% sold, 60% sold. This is not entirely unheard of in the world of high-end real estate, where it’s widely understood that everyone is inflating figures to some extent. For example, a claim of 60 percent sold is understood to mean a project is actually 40 percent sold. But the Trump SoHo, documents later filed with New York’s attorney general showed, wasn’t anywhere near 60 percent sold in 2008. It was less than 15 percent sold. . . Four months later, the Trumps were sued for an ‘ongoing pattern of fraudulent misrepresentation and deceptive sales practices.’ According to the civil complaint, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump and their Trump SoHo business partners were ‘engaged in a coordinated pattern of falsely overstating the number of Trump Soho Units sold,’ the complaint alleged. . .”

Apr 26, 2021

“Four banks had large Trump exposures. (Donald) Trump had personally guaranteed $830 million of debt, ‘which was reckless of him, but even more so for the banks,’ as (reporter Neil) Barksy later wrote. . . Trump tried to stave it off. At one point, Barksy reported, (Father) Fred Trump sent an attorney to buy $3.5 million worth of gambling chips at one of (Donald) Trump’s casinos and then leave, essentially making an unregistered $3.5 million loan to his son, which enabled Donald to make a bond payment. . . On June 15, 1990, the day before Trump’s birthday party at the Taj Mahal with the faux-shuttle and scantily clad dancers, Trump’s Castle casino failed to make its bond interest payments. . . From then on, however, mainstream American banks all but ceased doing new business with Trump. He would have to look elsewhere for money: abroad.”


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