August 5, 2016

Trump facts to fight the static


Donald Trump continues to run one of the most bewildering political campaigns in memory.  The sheer frequency with which his facts are disputed, his motives impugned, his character assailed—and the sheer enthusiasm with which he volleys back disputations, insinuations, and attacks—can make it very hard to get a grip on what is really happening.

Thankfully, an antidote has been released into the world this week, in the form of The Making of Donald Trump, a new book by David Cay Johnston. Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who’s been covering Trump for nearly thirty years. A reporter who does his homework and presents the facts of Trump’s rise and character with clarity, diligence, and seriousness. In short, exactly what many of us are looking for.

Not surprisingly, as the often bewildering news pile-up continues, media figures have reached out to Johnston for explanation, context, and clarity about Trump. This past Wednesday, on WNYC radio in New York City, he sat down with Leonard Lopate for a conversation that covered Trump’s successes and losses in business, his battles in courtrooms and boardrooms, and his public comments and records. It is absolutely worth a listen:


Later that same afternoon, Johnston jetted across town to speak with reporters at CNBC’s Power Lunch, where he spoke in detail about Trump’s connections to known felons, his history in casino management, and what the record says about his prowess as a deal-closer. Asked about the candidate’s relationship with the truth, Johnston was very clear: “Donald makes up things, he creates his own reality. And in his mind, there’s nothing wrong with that… I don’t think he cares at all.” Watch the entire segment here:

Johnston rounded out a busy day by swinging by MSNBC for a discussion on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, where he spoke beside former IRS commissioner Mark W. Everson about the nitty-gritty of Trump’s still-undisclosed tax returns, his “legal kickbacks” from business associates, and the fact that he “has admitted under oath that he makes up” the numbers he reports on his own business dealings. It’s a segment every American voter should watch:

And now that you’re heading over to your local indie to buy Johnston’s book, may we recommend Wednesday’s episode of Lindsay Beyerstein’s Point of Inquiry podcast, where Johnston also spoke of Trump’s “huckster nature,” his connections to organized crime, and just how he’s managed to deflect years of government, media, and popular inquiry into some of his shadier dealings.

The Making of Donald Trump is available at booksellers everywhere and through our website.