Russian Roulette - the book

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Russian Roulette - the book

Postby KeithE » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:28 pm

Bought this book (Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn) yesterday and have read the Intro and Chapter 1. I’ll give a running commentary and ya’ll can react to if you like. I don’t have much time to read lately - too much Discovery Center, bridge playing, vacations, and being a chaffier for my daughter (yes she is still not well - suffering from fainting spells and prohibited from driving for at least the next two months)

Introduction - "It’s a Shakedown”
This was Trump’s reaction to the Intel Briefing he was given on Jan 6, 2017 before his Innaguration. This was when Trump was told by the Intel Community that Russia covert action to influence the US 2016 Election to help him and hurt Clinton. Comey also handed him the Dossier that had comprising material on Trump. Trump’s reaction seems more defensive than someone who wanted to defuse these claims or defend America from further election meddling.

Chapter 1 - “Mr. Putin would like to Meet Mr. Trump”
This chapter is mostly about the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow and Trump’s friendship with the Agalarov’s/Rob Goldstone (mostly participating in lewd partying in Moscow and Las Vegas). Agalarov is a Russian oligarch (and his son Emin is an aspiring singer) with “close ties" to Putin through massive construction projects. On his visit Moscow for the Miss Universe contest Trump told them that Mr. Putin wanted to talk with Trump and will attend the contest. Putin did not do either despite multiple Trump attempts asking Putin to talk; Trump was caught red faced in his typical braggadocio. Trump did receive a “black lacquered box" with a note inside after he returned the USA. The contents of that note has never been revealed. Imo, that note should be subpoenaed (perhaps Mueller has does that) - if this is some innocent note apologizing for not being able to talk with Trump or some other goodwill note, then there would be no shame in that being revealed.

I‘ll be comparing this book’s information to that of Collusion by Luke Hardin. Harding's account (pg 239-244) confirms Isikoff/Corn’s account about the Miss Universe experience and much of the ‘interactions' with the Agalarovs/Goldstone in Moscow and Las Vegas but I don’t remember Harding telling about the note Trump received from Putin in late 2013. Harding’s book is more disjointed time wise. Isikoff/Corn's book is better written, imo.

Here are the reviews of Russian Roulette as of March 14 11:28am (book was released Midnight March 13, I bought about 9:30am on March 13). Over a 3:1 (5 stars to 1 star) and if you look at the 1 star and there are no Verified Purchases and they all 8 votes short one liners like “ This book needs to be re-categorized for the Adolescent Fictions section. Fake news.” and "ABSOLUTE GARBAGE PROPAGANDA”. Most 5 stars are “Verified Purchase” or “Audio Format” , most (but not all) are substantial comments that show specifics brought up in the book.

Here is a CBS interview with the authors
Last edited by KeithE on Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby Jim » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:01 pm

KeithE wrote:Bought this book (Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn) yesterday and have read the Intro and Chapter 1. I’ll give a running commentary and ya’ll can react to if you like. I don’t have much time to read lately - too much Discovery Center, bridge playing, vacations, and being a chaffier for my daughter (yes she is still not well - suffering from fainting spells and prohibited from driving for at least the next two months)

Introduction - "It’s a Shakedown”
This was Trump’s reaction to the Intel Briefing he was given on Jan 6, 2017 before his Innaguration. This was when Trump was told by the Intel Community that Russia covert action to influence the US 2016 Election to help him and hurt Clinton. Comey also handed him the Dossier that had comprising material on Trump. Trump’s reaction seems more defensive than someone who wanted to defuse these claims or defend America from further election meddling.

Chapter 1 - “Mr. Putin would like to Meet Mr. Trump”
This chapter is mostly about the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow and Trump’s friendship with the Agalarov’s/Rob Goldstone (mostly participating in lewd partying in Moscow and Las Vegas). Agalarov is a Russian oligarch (and his sone is an aspiring singer) with “close ties" to Putin through massive construction projects. On his visit Moscow for the Miss Universe contest Trump told them that Mr. Putin wanted to talk with Trump and will attend the contest. Putin did not do either despite multiple Trump attempts asking Putin to talk; Trump was caught red faced in his typical braggadocio. Trump did receive a “black lacquered box" with a note inside after he returned the USA. The contents of that note has never been revealed. Imo, that note should be subpoenaed (perhaps Mueller has does that) - if this is some innocent note apologizing for not being able to talk with Trump or some other good will note, then there would be no shame in that being revealed.

I‘ll be comparing this to Collusion by Luke Hardin. Harding's account (pg 239-244) confirms Isikoff/Corn’s account about the Miss Universe experience and much of the ‘interactions' with the Agalarovs/Goldstone in Moscow and Las Vegas but I don’t remember Harding telling about the note Trump received form Putin in late 2013. Harding’s book is more disjointed time wise. Isikoff/Corn's book is better written, imo.

Here are the reviews of Russian Roulette as of March 14 11:28am (book was released Midnight March 13, I bought about 9:30am on March 13). Over a 3:1 (5 stars to 1 star) and if you look at the 1 star and there are no Verified Purchases and they all 8 votes short one liners like “ This book needs to be re-categorized for the Adolescent Fictions section. Fake news.” and "ABSOLUTE GARBAGE PROPAGANDA”. Most 5 stars are “Verified Purchase” or “Audio Format” , most (but not all) are substantial comments that show specifics brought up in the book.

Here is a CBS interview with the authors


Funny you should mention something by Isikoff. He gave us the fake news in 2005 about the copy of the Koran flushed at Gitmo, from which the publisher had to back down...didn't happen but caused 16 or so Muslims in Afghanistan to die apparently by suicide. Corn is connected to Mother Jones and MSNBC, that is, a wingnut, part of the "anonymous-source/high-government-official" crowd that gives no attribution for what they spew...or just make it up. Isikoff is now a main guy concerning the infamous "Steele Dossier" used to hoodwink a FISA Court--all a part of Obama grand strategy?
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby KeithE » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:09 pm

Jim wrote:
KeithE wrote:Bought this book (Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn) yesterday and have read the Intro and Chapter 1. I’ll give a running commentary and ya’ll can react to if you like. I don’t have much time to read lately - too much Discovery Center, bridge playing, vacations, and being a chaffier for my daughter (yes she is still not well - suffering from fainting spells and prohibited from driving for at least the next two months)

Introduction - "It’s a Shakedown”
This was Trump’s reaction to the Intel Briefing he was given on Jan 6, 2017 before his Innaguration. This was when Trump was told by the Intel Community that Russia covert action to influence the US 2016 Election to help him and hurt Clinton. Comey also handed him the Dossier that had comprising material on Trump. Trump’s reaction seems more defensive than someone who wanted to defuse these claims or defend America from further election meddling.

Chapter 1 - “Mr. Putin would like to Meet Mr. Trump”
This chapter is mostly about the 2013 Miss Universe contest in Moscow and Trump’s friendship with the Agalarov’s/Rob Goldstone (mostly participating in lewd partying in Moscow and Las Vegas). Agalarov is a Russian oligarch (and his sone is an aspiring singer) with “close ties" to Putin through massive construction projects. On his visit Moscow for the Miss Universe contest Trump told them that Mr. Putin wanted to talk with Trump and will attend the contest. Putin did not do either despite multiple Trump attempts asking Putin to talk; Trump was caught red faced in his typical braggadocio. Trump did receive a “black lacquered box" with a note inside after he returned the USA. The contents of that note has never been revealed. Imo, that note should be subpoenaed (perhaps Mueller has does that) - if this is some innocent note apologizing for not being able to talk with Trump or some other good will note, then there would be no shame in that being revealed.

I‘ll be comparing this to Collusion by Luke Hardin. Harding's account (pg 239-244) confirms Isikoff/Corn’s account about the Miss Universe experience and much of the ‘interactions' with the Agalarovs/Goldstone in Moscow and Las Vegas but I don’t remember Harding telling about the note Trump received form Putin in late 2013. Harding’s book is more disjointed time wise. Isikoff/Corn's book is better written, imo.

Here are the reviews of Russian Roulette as of March 14 11:28am (book was released Midnight March 13, I bought about 9:30am on March 13). Over a 3:1 (5 stars to 1 star) and if you look at the 1 star and there are no Verified Purchases and they all 8 votes short one liners like “ This book needs to be re-categorized for the Adolescent Fictions section. Fake news.” and "ABSOLUTE GARBAGE PROPAGANDA”. Most 5 stars are “Verified Purchase” or “Audio Format” , most (but not all) are substantial comments that show specifics brought up in the book.

Here is a CBS interview with the authors


Funny you should mention something by Isikoff. He gave us the fake news in 2005 about the copy of the Koran flushed at Gitmo, from which the publisher had to back down...didn't happen but caused 16 or so Muslims in Afghanistan to die apparently by suicide. Corn is connected to Mother Jones and MSNBC, that is, a wingnut, part of the "anonymous-source/high-government-official" crowd that gives no attribution for what they spew...or just make it up. Isikoff is now a main guy concerning the infamous "Steele Dossier" used to hoodwink a FISA Court--all a part of Obama grand strategy?

Well this put down for the book/authors is not much better than the 1 star reviews for the book - no reading of the book, just blowhard claims by those who are biased against the book's presumed conclusions.

As for Isikoff’s story about a Koran being flushed down a toilet, read this. The story was not retracted because they knew it not to be true, but because one witness backed down among at least 5 other claims of Koran mistreatment found by Pentagon investigators. The Isikoff story in Newsweek was retracted with Isikoff's approval because of:

Neither Newsweek nor the Pentagon foresaw that a reference to the desecration of the Quran was going to create the kind of response that it did. The Pentagon saw the item before it ran, and then they didn't move us off it for 11 days afterward. They were as caught off guard by the furor as we were. We obviously blame ourselves for not understanding the potential ramifications.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Quran_desecration_controversy#The_Newsweek_report.

The Isikoff and Corn book Hubris is widely praised as being the best, most documented book on the false selling for the Iraq War.

As for MSNBC being “wing-nut", they usually give attribution for their stories if not on air, then on their website. MSNBC is certainly more accurate (but not perfect by any means) than Fox News.
Comparison of Truth of contested stories (hopefully all networks are better on all stories).

Fox News Record - 75% false
Image
MSNBC Record - 44% false
Image
BTW, CNN record - 21% false
Image
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby Jim » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:11 pm

Like they say about DATA--garbage in, garbage out!
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby KeithE » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:37 am

Jim wrote:Like they say about DATA--garbage in, garbage out!

They say that about computer programs, not DATA.
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby Sandy » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:32 am

I picked up a copy while waiting for a long-delayed flight last weekend. The references in this book are cited in context, not in bits and pieces like most conservative books of the same category, and you can take a laptop or tablet and dig in. Isikoff and Corn are far more credible than anyone on the right, and they include the facts while getting them straight. The circumstances around the dossier have given Isikoff credibility, not subtracted it, and Corn never offers anything without sources. I have another plane trip tomorrow, so I'll get a chance to get through most of it.
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Re: Russian Roulette - the book

Postby KeithE » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:57 pm

Sandy wrote:I picked up a copy while waiting for a long-delayed flight last weekend. The references in this book are cited in context, not in bits and pieces like most conservative books of the same category, and you can take a laptop or tablet and dig in. Isikoff and Corn are far more credible than anyone on the right, and they include the facts while getting them straight. The circumstances around the dossier have given Isikoff credibility, not subtracted it, and Corn never offers anything without sources. I have another plane trip tomorrow, so I'll get a chance to get through most of it.

Yes their (Isikoff and Corn's) approach to references are more general for each chapter and not footnoted as to page in that reference. That is a weakness, imo; but not fatal (if their general references backup the major conclusions - something I have not yet checked).

Imo, Russian Roulette is a better book than Collusion by Luke Harding - RR is very detailed, more coherent. Collusion has 69% 5-star reviews while Russian Roulette has 83% 5-star reviews - unusually good for a political book. But the books mutual support each other.

I’m at Chapter 11 out of 21. So far I'd say the collusion was not a very tight collusion with regular meetings / joint strategy, but instead more of a slow courtship. There is plenty to show potential kopromat (comprising material) on Trump and that is probably one reason why the Russian favored Trump; this book makes it clear they did not want Clinton. There is also plenty to prove a lack of truthfulness in denying Trump campaign contacts with Russians - that is perjury on the part of several of Trumps’ troops (Sessions, Trump, Jr., Manafort, Kushner, Stone, Page, Sater, Prince - nothing yet on Bannon, Flynn, Conway, but I’m still reading). I note how Trump lets his cronies make the contacts with the Russians and face the questioning under oath. It is simply not not believable that Trump knew nothing of these meetings.

It also is delving into the Clinton campaign and Obama’s fear of getting involved in 'election meddling’ (which he thought was going Clinton’s way) although he knew Putin was meddling.

I had not known that it is illegal to have foreigners involved in elections and it appears that both campaigns (Trump and Clinton) definitely broke that election law rule.

I have a suggestion. We have mis-trials. I think we should declare a mis-election (only partly in jest). Elections are far more important than isolated trials.
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