AMERICAN KOMPROMAT: How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery, by Craig Unger (Dutton, New York, NY, 2021, 345 pages).
Book Review by Dennis Moore
February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - Craig Unger, author of the New York Times bestselling book, House of Trump, House of Putin, has written an explosive and provocative book that is destined to be another bestseller; American Kompromat. Unger asks; “Was Donald Trump a Russian asset? Just how compromised was he?” There are certain aspects of this book that reminds me of Robert Ludlum’s The Matarese Circle, which was also published by Unger’s publisher.
Listen to our exclusive interview with the author on our "East County Magazine Live!" radio show by clicking here.
This is a story of dirty secrets, and the most powerful people in the world. It has been quoted as stating: “Damning in its accumulation of detail, terrifying in its depiction of the pure evil of those Trump chose to do business with.” I couldn’t put the book down!
Unger comes at you right away, by stating: “To most of the country, he was vulgar and vile, a misogynistic, racist firebrand, a buffoon who knew only his own pecuniary interests and prejudices and would stop at nothing to satiate them. He was clownish and repellent. But well before the election, it had become clear that he was far more dangerous than that suggested, that his buffoonery masked real demagoguery, that he was a tyrant who had mesmerized tens of millions of people, and that it didn’t matter to them what he said or did. He spoke for them.” That says more about who we are as a people and country!
If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, the pictures in American Kompromat, of Donald Trump with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, then President Trump shaking hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and Trump with his model girlfriend Melania Knauss (Trump) together with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in 2000, says it all! (Picture of Trump and Putin courtesy of Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)(Picture of Trump with Lavrov and Kislyak courtesy of Alexander Shcherbak/Tass/Getty Images).
Based on extensive, exclusive interviews with dozens of high-level sources – Soviets who defected from the KGB, former officers in the CIA, FBI counter-intelligence agents, lawyers at white-shoe Washington firms – and analysis of thousands of pages of FBI investigations, police investigations, and news articles in English, Russian, and Ukrainian, American Kompromat shows that something more sinister and important has been taking place than the public could ever imagine: namely, that from Donald Trump to Jeffrey Epstein, Kropromat operations documented the darkest secrets of the most powerful people in the world and transformed them into potent weapons. Kompromat, in Russian, actually means “Compromising Information.”
This well written and documented book by Unger has shaken my sensitivities, had me questioning America’s place in world politics. Unlike any other book that I have read, or the more than 400 book reviews that I have written on every conceivable genre, it has shaken my perception on what it means to be an American!
My having written reviews of Malcolm Nance’s The Plot To Hack America, Andrew McCabe’s The Threat, Donna Brazile’s Hacks, Seth Abramson’s Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, Bandy Lee’s The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump, Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash and Donald Trump’s own Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, they all lend credence to the allegations in Unger’s American Kompromat.
In further regard to the aforementioned Andrew McCabe, whom I had earlier written a review of his book The Threat in the East County Magazine, Unger states in his well written and documented book: “We opened this case in May 2017 because we had information that indicated a national security threat might exist, specifically a counterintelligence threat involving the president and Russia.”
It is interesting and striking that Unger references the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in his book, in the context of Donald Trump embracing The Proud Boys. Ironically, just this past week a federal lawsuit was filed against Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys International, L.L.C., by the NAACP. Ironically, pictured is then President Trump marching from the White House in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church after he had called out federal troops to subdue peaceful protests against racial inequality following the killing of George Floyd by police. See attached lawsuit here. (Picture of Trump leading personnel from White House courtesy of Tom Brenner/Reuters).
It is noteworthy that the author makes a connection in American Kompromat between Donald Trump and the mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein, which initially was ruled a suicide. Unger states in his book: “The mystery of Epstein’s death became presidential fodder nearly a year later, in July 2020, just after Ghislaine Maxwell was finally arrested and President Trump wished her well, making good use of the tough guy syntax of a mob boss making a not-so-veiled threat. During an interview with news program Axios on HBO, Trump was reminded that Maxwell had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking and was asked why he wished her well.”
Unger further states in regard to the mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein: “The unspoken context, of course, was that many people wondered if Epstein would ‘flip’ and tell who he had kompromat on – heads of state, Wall Street billionaires, or even Donald Trump, but he had ended up dead under mysterious circumstances.”
This book has a cast of sordid characters that has ties to Russia and Kompromat, one of which is John Mark Dougan, the fourth American to receive asylum in Russia.
And there was always the age-old question, Cui bono? Who benefits? Certainly, Epstein’s high-profile friends – those who had indulged in sexual activities that he handed out like party favors – could breathe easier. And one had to wonder whether that included Donald Trump. After all, in an indiscreet moment, Epstein had shown photos of Trump with young girls to a friend. This, according to Craig Unger!
Then comes the matter of Mohammed bin Salman, better known today as MBS, the Saudi crown prince who is widely believed to have orchestrated the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Unger in American Kompromat. It was said that MBS was not just an acquaintance, but a real friend of Epstein’s. The new Biden administration released a report just today indicating that MBS ordered the brutal murder of Khashoggi. Read attached report here.
The related tales of sex, greed, power, and treachery that the author references in American Kompromat is exemplified in his connecting the dots between Michael Cohen and “Trump Tower Moscow” revelations, recent Supreme Court decision that resulted in the release of Trump taxes, and the numerous federal and state lawsuits being considered against Trump.
Unger writes of a common denominator between Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein and that of Russia, that of a former Miss Russia, Anna Malova. Notwithstanding the fact that Trump was still married to his second wife, Marla Maples, Anna moved into a thirtieth-floor condo in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. There, according to an item in the New York Post, her lavish accommodations were taken care of “courtesy of an unidentified sugar daddy.” Perhaps Unger implies that sugar daddy to be Donald Trump. One could certainly understand why that might be, seeing Malova pictured here!
There is so much to ponder in American Kompromat, which makes for great reading, and the author delivers it to us in a cogent and concise way that would make this book a must read. (Picture of Malova courtesy of Richard Corkery/New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images).
Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor for the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.