Russian Roulette

The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump


By Michael Isikoff

By David Corn

Read by Peter Ganim

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The incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the U.S. election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.

Russian Roulette is…the most thorough and riveting account.” — The New York Times

Russian Roulette is a story of political skullduggery unprecedented in American history. It weaves together tales of international intrigue, cyber espionage, and superpower rivalry. After U.S.-Russia relations soured, as Vladimir Putin moved to reassert Russian strength on the global stage, Moscow trained its best hackers and trolls on U.S. political targets and exploited WikiLeaks to disseminate information that could affect the 2016 election.

The Russians were wildly successful and the great break-in of 2016 was no “third-rate burglary.” It was far more sophisticated and sinister — a brazen act of political espionage designed to interfere with American democracy. At the end of the day, Trump, the candidate who pursued business deals in Russia, won. And millions of Americans were left wondering, what the hell happened? This story of high-tech spying and multiple political feuds is told against the backdrop of Trump’s strange relationship with Putin and the curious ties between members of his inner circle — including Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn — and Russia.

Russian Roulette chronicles and explores this bizarre scandal, explains the stakes, and answers one of the biggest questions in American politics: How and why did a foreign government infiltrate the country’s political process and gain influence in Washington?



“It’s a shakedown.”

Donald Trump was suspicious from the start.

It was the afternoon of January 6, 2017, and for two hours, the president-elect had sat in a conference room at Trump Tower and listened to the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community brief him on an extraordinary document: a report their agencies had produced concluding that the Russian government had mounted a massive covert influence campaign aimed at disrupting the country’s political system and electing him president of the United States. Trump had controlled his anger during this meeting—at times raising questions, expressing doubts, and clinging to the idea that it might all be a lie, part of some Deep State plot to taint his defeat of Hillary Clinton the previous November and undermine his authority as president.

When the spy chiefs—Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA director John Brennan, and National Security Agency director Adm. Michael Rogers—left the room, one of them stayed behind. FBI director James Comey then handed Trump something else. It was a two-page synopsis of reports prepared by a former British spy alleging that Trump and his campaign had actively collaborated with Moscow. The memos claimed Russian intelligence had collected compromising material on Trump that could be used to blackmail him, including a tape of him engaging in sordid behavior with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. The FBI was not giving him this information because it believed the reports, Comey explained to Trump. In fact, the Bureau hadn’t confirmed any of the lurid details—and Comey told him that he was not personally under investigation. But the material was circulating within the media and might become public. The intelligence community, Comey said, merely wanted to provide him a heads-up.

When Comey left, Trump was incensed. “It’s bullshit,” he told his aides. None of this was true. The discussion turned to why Comey had gone through this exercise. Suddenly, it all made sense to Trump. He knew exactly what this was.

“It’s a shakedown,” Trump exclaimed. They were blackmailing him. Comey—no doubt, with the approval of the others—was trying to send him a message. They had something on him.

Trump had seen this sort of thing before. Certainly, his old mentor Roy Cohn—the notorious fixer for mobsters and crooked pols—knew how this worked. So too did Comey’s most famous predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover, who had quietly let it be known to politicians and celebrities that he possessed information that could destroy their careers in a New York minute.

Now, as Trump saw it, Comey and the rest were trying to do this to him. But he was not about to let them.

Trump’s anger that day helped set the tone for one of the most tumultuous presidencies in American history. His first year in office would be filled with fits of rage at his political enemies, bizarre early-morning tweet storms, and repeated denunciations of the purveyors of “fake news” who challenged his honesty, his competency, and even his mental stability. Much of this turmoil related to the relentless investigations of Russia’s attack on the 2016 election—a subject that infuriated Trump more than anything else. Russia had become a rallying cry for his tormentors—the original sin of his presidency, a scandal that raised questions about both his legitimacy and the nation’s vulnerability to covert information warfare. Yet Trump defiantly refused to acknowledge Russia’s extensive assault as a real and significant event. In his mind, any inquiry into the matter was nothing but an effort to destroy him.

The Russia scandal, though, dated back decades. For years, Trump had pursued business deals in Russia, continuing to do so even through the first months of his presidential campaign—and this colored how he would engage with the autocratic, repressive, and dangerous Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. The Trump-Russia tale was rooted in the larger post–Cold War geopolitical clash between the United States and Russia, a conflict that Moscow in 2016 shifted into the cyber shadows to gain a strategic advantage.

With Trump unable or unwilling to come to terms with Putin’s war on American democracy, it fell to government investigators and reporters to piece together the complete story—an endeavor that could take years to complete. This book is a first step toward that. No matter how Trump regarded the scandal, one thing was for certain: To prevent a future attack, the American public and its leaders had to know and face what had occurred. A thorough accounting was a national necessity.


“Mr. Putin would like to meet Mr. Trump.”

It was late in the afternoon of November 9, 2013, in Moscow, and Donald Trump was getting anxious.

This was his second day in the Russian capital, and the brash businessman and reality-TV star was running through a whirlwind schedule to promote that evening’s extravaganza at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall: the Miss Universe pageant, in which women from eighty-six countries would be judged before a worldwide television audience estimated at one billion.

Trump had purchased the pageant seventeen years earlier, partnering with NBC. It was one of his most prized properties, bringing in millions of dollars a year in revenue and, perhaps as important, burnishing his image as an iconic international playboy celebrity. While in the Russian capital, Trump was also scouting for new and grand business opportunities, having spent decades trying—but failing—to develop high-end projects in Moscow. Miss Universe staffers considered it an open secret that Trump’s true agenda in Moscow was not the show but his desire to do business there.

Yet to those around him that afternoon, Trump seemed gripped by one question: Where was Vladimir Putin?

From the moment five months earlier when Trump announced Miss Universe would be staged that year in Moscow, he had seemed obsessed with the idea of meeting the Russian president. “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow—if so, will he become my new best friend?” Trump had tweeted in June.

Once in Moscow, Trump received a private message from the Kremlin, delivered by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch close to Putin and Trump’s partner in hosting the Miss Universe event there: “Mr. Putin would like to meet Mr. Trump.” That excited Trump. The American developer thought there was a strong chance the Russian leader would attend the pageant. But as his time in Russia wore on, Trump heard nothing else. He became uneasy.

“Is Putin coming?” he kept asking.

With no word from the Kremlin, it was starting to look grim. Then Agalarov conveyed a new message. Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s right-hand man and press spokesman, would be calling any moment. Trump was relieved, especially after it was explained to him that few people were closer to Putin than Peskov. If anybody could facilitate a rendezvous with Putin, it was Peskov. “If you get a call from Peskov, it’s like you’re getting a call from Putin,” Rob Goldstone, a British-born publicist who had helped bring the beauty contest to Moscow, told him. But time was running out. The show would be starting soon, and following the broadcast Trump would be departing the city.

Finally, Agalarov’s cell phone rang. It was Peskov, and Agalarov handed the phone to an eager Trump.

Trump’s trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe contest was a pivotal moment. He had for years longed to develop a glittering Trump Tower in Moscow. With this visit, he would come near—so near—to striking that deal. He would be close to branding the Moscow skyline with his world-famous name and enhancing his own status as a sort of global oligarch.

During his time in Russia, Trump would demonstrate his affinity for the nation’s authoritarian leader with flattering and fawning tweets and remarks that were part of a long stretch of comments suggesting an admiration for Putin. Trump’s curious statements about Putin—before, during, and after this Moscow jaunt—would later confound U.S. intelligence officials, members of Congress, and Americans of various political inclinations, even Republican Party loyalists.

What could possibly explain Trump’s unwavering sympathy for the Russian strongman? His refusal to acknowledge Putin’s repressive tactics, his whitewashing of Putin’s abuses in Ukraine and Syria, his dismissal of the murders of Putin’s critics, his blind eye to Putin’s cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at subverting Western democracies?

Trump’s brief trip to Moscow held clues to this mystery. His two days there would later become much discussed because of allegations that he engaged in weird sexual antics while in Russia—claims that were not confirmed. But this visit was significant because it revealed what motivated Trump the most: the opportunity to build more monuments to himself and to make more money. Trump realized that he could attain none of his dreams in Moscow without forging a bond with the former KGB lieutenant colonel who was the president of Russia.

This trek to Russia was the birth of a bromance—or something darker—that would soon upend American politics and then scandalize Trump’s presidency. And it began in the most improbable way—as the brainstorm of a hustling music publicist trying to juice the career of a second-tier pop singer.

Trump’s Miss Universe landed in Moscow because of an odd couple: Rob Goldstone and Emin Agalarov.

Goldstone was a heavyset, gregarious bon vivant who liked to post photos on Facebook poking fun at himself for being unkempt and overweight. He once wrote a piece for the New York Times headlined, “The Tricks and Trials of Traveling While Fat.” He had been an Australian tabloid reporter and a publicist for Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad tour. Now he co–managed a PR firm, and his top priority was serving the needs of an Azerbaijani pop singer of moderate talent named Emin Agalarov.

Emin—he went by his first name—was young, handsome, and rich. He yearned to be an international star. His father, Aras Agalarov, was a billionaire developer who had made it big in Russia, building commercial and residential complexes, and who also owned properties in the United States. After spending his early years in Russia, Emin grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey, obsessed with Elvis Presley. He imitated the King of Rock and Roll in dress, style, and voice. He later studied business at Marymount Manhattan College and subsequently pursued a double career, working in his father’s company and trying to make it as a singer. He married Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of the president of Azerbaijan, whose regime faced repeated allegations of corruption. After moving to Baku, the country’s capital, Emin soon earned a nickname: “the Elvis of Azerbaijan.”

Emin cultivated the image of a rakish pop star, chronicling a hedonistic lifestyle on Instagram by posting shots from beaches, nightclubs, and various hot spots. He brandished hats and T-shirts with randy sayings, such as, “If You Had a Bad Day Let’s Get Naked.” But his music career was stalled. For help, he had turned to Goldstone.

In early 2013, Goldstone was looking to get Emin more media exposure, especially in the United States. A friend offered a suggestion: Perhaps Emin could perform at a Miss Universe pageant. The event had a reputation for showcasing emerging talent. The 2008 contest had featured up-and-comer Lady Gaga. (Trump would later brag—with his usual hyperbole—that this appearance was Lady Gaga’s big break.) About the same time, Goldstone and Emin needed an attractive woman for a music video for Emin’s latest song—and they wanted the most beautiful woman they could find. It seemed obvious to them that they should reach out to Miss Universe.

This led to meetings with Paula Shugart, the president of the Miss Universe Organization, who reported directly to Trump. She agreed to make the reigning Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo, available for the music video. (Within the Miss Universe outfit, Culpo, who had previously been Miss USA, was widely considered a Trump favorite.) And over the course of several conversations with Shugart, Goldstone and Emin discussed where the next Miss Universe contest would be held. At one point, Emin proposed to Shugart that Miss Universe consider mounting its 2013 pageant in Azerbaijan. That didn’t fly with Shugart.

At a subsequent meeting, Emin revised the pitch. “Why don’t we have it in Moscow?” he suggested. Shugart was interested but hesitant. The pageant had looked at Moscow previously. It had not identified a suitable venue there, and it was fearful of running into too much red tape. “What if you had a partner who owns the biggest venue in Moscow?” Emin replied. “Between myself and my father, we can cut through the red tape.”

The venue Emin was referring to was Crocus City Hall, a grand seven-thousand-seat theater complex built by his father. Moreover, the influential Aras Agalarov could help smooth the way—and bypass the notorious bureaucratic morass that was a regular feature of doing business in Russia.

A native Azerbaijani, Aras Agalarov was known as “Putin’s Builder.” He had accumulated a billion-dollar-plus real estate fortune in part by catering, like Trump, to the super-wealthy. One of his projects was a Moscow housing community for oligarchs that boasted an artificial beach and waterfall. Agalarov had been tapped by Putin to build the massive infrastructure—conference halls, roadways, and housing—for the 2012 Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vladivostok. He had completed the project in record time. That venture and others—the construction of soccer stadiums for the World Cup in Russia and the building of a superhighway around Moscow—had earned Agalarov Putin’s gratitude. Later in 2013, Putin would pin a medal on Agalarov’s lapel: “Order of Honor of the Russian Federation.”

When Shugart first mentioned to Trump the idea of partnering with a Russian billionaire tight with Putin to bring the Miss Universe contest to Moscow, the celebrity developer was intrigued. At last, here was an inside track to break into the Russian market. And Agalarov agreed to kick in a good chunk of the estimated $20 million pageant budget. Trump was all for it. A Putin-connected oligarch would be underwriting his endeavor.

But the deal had to include something for Emin. Trump’s Miss Universe company guaranteed that Emin would perform two musical numbers during the show. He would be showcased before a global television audience. He and Goldstone believed this could help him achieve his dream: cracking the American pop market.

Even before that, there would be a payoff for Emin. In May, Culpo showed up in Los Angeles for the one-day shoot. Emin was filmed strolling through a deserted nighttime town looking for his love—to the tune of his song “Amor”—and a sultry woman played by Culpo walked in and out of the beam of the flashlight he carried. A few weeks later, the video was done. Emin held a release party at a Moscow nightclub owned by his family. It was a lavish affair. Russian celebrities dropped by. Shugart and Culpo flew in to join the celebration.

In June 2013, Trump arrived in Las Vegas to preside over the Miss USA contest, which was owned by the Miss Universe company. Goldstone, Aras Agalarov, and Emin were in town for the event. Emin posted a photo of himself outside Trump’s hotel off the Vegas strip wearing a Trump T-shirt and boasting a hat exclaiming “You’re Fired”—the tagline from Trump’s hit television show, The Apprentice. Trump had yet to meet the Agalarovs. But when they finally got together in the lobby of his hotel, he pointed at Aras Agalarov and exclaimed, “Look who came to me! This is the richest man in Russia!” (Agalarov was not the richest man in Russia.)

On the evening of June 15, the two Russians and their British publicist were planning a big dinner at CUT, a restaurant located at the Palazzo hotel and casino. Much to their surprise, they received a call from Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime security chief and confidant, informing them that his boss wanted to join their party. Sure, they said, please come.

At the dinner for about twenty people in a private room, Emin sat between Trump and Goldstone. Aras Agalarov was across from Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney who acted as the businessman’s consigliore, was on the other side of Goldstone.

Also at the table was an unusual associate for Trump: Ike Kaveladze, the U.S.-based vice president of Crocus International, an Agalarov company. In 2000, a Government Accountability Office report identified a business run by Kaveladze as responsible for opening more than two thousand bank accounts at two U.S. banks on behalf of Russian-based brokers. The accounts were used to move more than $1.4 billion from individuals in Russia and Eastern Europe around the globe in an operation the report suggested was “for the purpose of laundering money.” His main client at the time was Crocus International. (Kaveladze claimed the GAO probe was “another Russian witch-hunt in the United States.”)

Trump was charming and solicitous of his new partners. He asked Aras what kind of jet he owned. A Gulfstream 550, Aras answered. But the Russian billionaire quickly noted that he had a Gulfstream 650 on order. “If that was me,” Trump replied, “I would have said I was one of only one hundred people in the world who have a Gulfstream 650 on order.” It was a small Trumpian lesson in self-promotion. And Trump, proud of himself, turned to Goldstone to emphasize his point: “There is nobody in the world who is a better self-promoter than Donald Trump.”

After the dinner, part of the group headed to an after-party at a raunchy nightclub in the Palazzo mall called The Act.

Shortly after midnight, the entourage arrived at the club. The group included Trump, Emin, Goldstone, Culpo, and Nana Meriwether, the outgoing Miss USA. Trump and Culpo were photographed in the lobby by a local paparazzi. The club’s management had heard that Trump might be there that night and had arranged to have plenty of Diet Coke on hand for the teetotaling Trump. (The owners had also discussed whether they should prepare a special performance for the developer, perhaps a dominatrix who would tie him up on stage or a little person transvestite Trump impersonator—and nixed the idea.)

The group was ushered to the owner’s box, where Emin had an unusual encounter. Alex Soros, the son of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who funded opposition to Putin, was there as Meriwether’s date. Emin started chatting with Soros and invited him to see him in Moscow. “You should know,” Soros replied, “I’m no fan of Mr. Putin.” And, he added, he was a big admirer of Mikhail Khodorkovsky—the oligarch turned Putin critic then serving time in a Siberian prison. Emin laughed it off.

The Act was no ordinary nightclub. Since March, it had been the target of undercover surveillance by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and investigators for the club’s landlord—the Palazzo, which was owned by GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson—after complaints about its obscene performances. The club featured seminude women performing simulated sex acts of bestiality and grotesque sadomasochism—skits that a few months later would prompt a Nevada state judge to issue an injunction barring any more of its “lewd” and “offensive” performances. Among the club’s regular acts cited by the judge was one called “Hot for Teacher,” in which naked college girls simulate urinating on a professor. In another act, two women disrobe and then “one female stands over the other female and simulates urinating while the other female catches the urine in two wine classes.” (The Act shut down after the judge’s ruling. There is no public record of which skits were performed the night Trump was present.) As The Act’s scantily clad dancers gyrated in front of them late that night, Emin, Goldstone, Culpo, and the rest toasted Trump’s birthday. (He had turned sixty-seven the day before.) Trump remained focused on Emin and their future partnership. “When it comes to doing business in Russia, it’s very hard to find people in there you can trust,” he told the young pop singer, according to Goldstone. “We’re going to have a great relationship.”

The next night, toward the end of the Miss USA broadcast, Trump hit the stage to announce that the Miss Universe pageant would be held the coming November in Russia. In front of the audience, the Agalarovs and Trump signed the contract for the event. Trump declared, “This will be one of the biggest and most beautiful Miss Universe events ever.” On the red carpet earlier that evening, Trump had hailed Emin and Aras Agalarov: “These are the most powerful people in all of Russia, the richest men in Russia.”

Two days later Trump expressed his desire on Twitter to become Putin’s “new best friend.” Emin quickly responded with his own tweet: “Mr. @realDonaldTrump anyone you meet becomes your best friend—so I’m sure Mr. Putin will not be an exception in Moscow.”

The Moscow event held great potential for Trump to score in Russia. Now he was partnering with a Russian billionaire connected to other oligarchs and favored by Putin. (Trump already had a controversial venture under way in Baku, where he was developing a hotel with the son of the transportation minister of the corrupt regime. This project would soon founder.) “For Trump, this Miss Universe event was all about expanding the Trump Organization brand and getting his names on buildings,” a Miss Universe associate recalled.

And anyone who wanted to do big deals in Russia—especially an American—could only do so if Putin was keen on it. “We all knew that the event was approved by Putin,” a Miss Universe official later said. “You can’t pull off something like this in Russia unless Putin says it’s okay.” Trump would only be making money in Russia because Putin was permitting him to do so.

Immediately, the contest was slammed by controversy. A few days before the announcement in Las Vegas, the Russian Duma had passed a law that made it illegal to expose children to information about homosexuality. The new antigay measure was the latest move by Putin to appeal to the conservative Orthodox Church and ultranationalist forces. It came amid a disturbing rise in antigay violence throughout Russia. In the southern city of Volgograd a few weeks earlier, a gay man’s naked body was found in a courtyard, his skull smashed, his genitals scarred by beer bottles. The atmosphere was “ugly and brutal,” a U.S. diplomat who then served in Moscow later said. “There would be these hooligans who would go after gay people in bars and beat them up. There was a pretty vicious campaign against the LGBT community.”

Human rights and gay rights advocates in Russia and around the world denounced the new law. Vodka boycotts were launched. There was a push to relocate the Winter Olympics, scheduled to be held the following year in Sochi, Russia. In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign called on Trump and the Miss Universe Organization to move the event out of Russia, noting that under the new law a contestant could be prosecuted if she were to voice support for gay rights.

The uproar over the Russian antigay act confronted Trump with a dilemma—how to distance himself from the law without jeopardizing his big Russia play. The Miss Universe Organization issued a statement asserting that it “believes in equality for all individuals.” That didn’t stop the protests. Bravo talk show host Andy Cohen and entertainment reporter Giuliana Rancic, who had previously cohosted the pageant, quit the show. Miss Universe officials scrambled and found replacements: Thomas Roberts, an openly gay MSNBC anchor, and former Spice Girl Mel B.

Roberts explained his decision in an op-ed on “Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor, and a man who happens to be gay. Let people see I am no different than anyone else.”

This was a godsend for Trump. He granted Roberts an interview on MSNBC. “I think you’re going to do fantastically,” he told Roberts, “and I love the fact that you feel the same about the whole situation as me.” Inevitably, the conversation turned toward Putin and whether he would appear at the pageant. “I know for a fact that he wants very much to come,” Trump said, “but we’ll have to see. We haven’t heard yet, but we have invited him.”

Though U.S. relations with Moscow were at this point deteriorating, Trump was touting Putin as a wily and strong leader. In September, Putin published an op-ed in the New York Times that opposed a possible U.S. military strike against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria (in retaliation for its use of chemical weapons) and that denounced President Barack Obama for referring to American exceptionalism. The next day, Trump on Fox News commended Putin’s move. “It really makes him look like a great leader,” he said.

The following month, Trump appeared on David Letterman’s late-night show. The host asked if Trump had ever done any deals with the Russians. “I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians,” Trump replied, adding, “They’re smart and they’re tough.” Letterman inquired if Trump had ever met Putin. “He’s a tough guy,” Trump said. “I met him once.” In fact, there was no record he ever had.

Trump landed in Moscow on November 8, having flown there with casino owner Phil Ruffin on Ruffin’s private jet. (Ruffin, a longtime Trump friend, was married to a former Miss Ukraine who had competed in the 2004 Miss Universe contest.) Trump headed to the Ritz-Carlton where he was booked into the presidential suite that Obama had stayed in when he was in Moscow four years earlier.

There was a brief meeting with Miss Universe executives and the Agalarovs. Schiller would later tell congressional investigators that a Russian approached Trump’s party with an offer: He wanted to send five women to Trump’s hotel room that night. Was this traditional Russian courtesy—or an overture by Russian intelligence to collect kompromat (compromising material) on the prominent visitor? Schiller said he didn’t take the offer seriously and told the Russian, “We don’t do that type of stuff.”

Trump was soon whisked to a gala lunch at one of the two Moscow branches of Nobu, the famous sushi restaurant. (Nobu Matsuhisa, its founder, was one of the celebrity judges for the Miss Universe telecast. Agalarov was one of the co-owners of the restaurant; another co-investor was actor Robert De Niro.) An assortment of Russian businessmen was there, including Herman Gref, the chief executive of Sberbank, a Russian state-owned bank and one of the cosponsors of the Miss Universe pageant.

Trump was treated with much reverence. He gave a brief welcoming talk. “Ask me a question,” he told the crowd. The first query was about the European debt crisis and the impact that the financial woes of Greece would have on it. “Interesting,” Trump replied. “Have any of you ever seen The Apprentice


  • "Two of the best and most accomplished investigative reporters of their generation, two of the best investigative reporters we have in this country...[A] superpower reporting team."—Rachel Maddow
  • "RUSSIAN ROULETTE is...the most thorough and riveting account."—The New York Times
  • "RUSSIAN ROULETTE performs an important service in tracing how establishment Washington...came to understand that what Russia was (and reportedly is still) up to was not routine espionage...[RUSSIAN ROULETTE] is engaging, smart."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 21.0px; font: 18.0px Georgia; color: #111111; -webkit-text-stroke: #111111}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}The Washington Post
  • "[RUSSIAN ROULETTE] does an outstanding job of putting the Russia-Trump story into context, separating rumor from fact and adding new information...A smart, solid, even-handed book that future historians will use as a starting point."—Booklist (starred review)
  • "Riveting."—Newsweek

On Sale
Mar 13, 2018
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Michael Isikoff

About the Author

Michael Isikoff is an investigative journalist who has worked for the Washington Post, Newsweek, and NBC News. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (co-written with David Corn). He is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, and other TV talk shows. Isikoff is currently the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo! News.

David Corn is a veteran Washington journalist and political commentator. He is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (co-written with Michael Isikoff). He is also the author of the biography Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades and the novel Deep Background.

Learn more about this author

David Corn

About the Author

David Corn is a veteran Washington journalist and political commentator. He is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (co-written with Michael Isikoff). He is also the author of the biography Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades and the novel Deep Background.

Learn more about this author