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A Very Stable Genius
Cover of A Very Stable Genius
A Very Stable Genius
Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
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The instant #1 bestseller.
"This taut and terrifying book is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump's shambolic tenure in office to date."
- Dwight Garner, The New York Times
Washington Post
national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig and White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, both Pulitzer Prize winners, provide the definitive insider narrative of Donald Trump's unique presidency with shocking new reporting and insight into its implications.

"I alone can fix it." So went Donald J. Trump's march to the presidency on July 21, 2016, when he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland, promising to restore what he described as a fallen nation. Yet over the subsequent years, as he has undertaken the actual work of the commander in chief, it has been hard to see beyond the daily chaos of scandal, investigation, and constant bluster. It would be all too easy to mistake Trump's first term for one of pure and uninhibited chaos, but there were patterns to his behavior and that of his associates. The universal value of the Trump administration is loyalty - not to the country, but to the president himself - and Trump's North Star has been the perpetuation of his own power, even when it meant imperiling our shaky and mistrustful democracy.
Leonnig and Rucker, with deep and unmatched sources throughout Washington, D.C., tell of rages and frenzies but also moments of courage and perseverance. Relying on scores of exclusive new interviews with some of the most senior members of the Trump administration and other firsthand witnesses, the authors reveal the forty-fifth president up close, taking readers inside Robert Mueller's Russia investigation as well as the president's own haphazard but ultimately successful legal defense. Here for the first time certain officials who have felt honor-bound not to publicly criticize a sitting president or to divulge what they witnessed in a position of trust tell the truth for the benefit of history.
This peerless and gripping narrative reveals President Trump at his most unvarnished and exposes how decision making in his administration has been driven by a reflexive logic of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement - but a logic nonetheless. This is the story of how an unparalleled president has scrambled to survive and tested the strength of America's democracy and its common heart as a nation.
The instant #1 bestseller.
"This taut and terrifying book is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump's shambolic tenure in office to date."
- Dwight Garner, The New York Times
Washington Post
national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig and White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, both Pulitzer Prize winners, provide the definitive insider narrative of Donald Trump's unique presidency with shocking new reporting and insight into its implications.

"I alone can fix it." So went Donald J. Trump's march to the presidency on July 21, 2016, when he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland, promising to restore what he described as a fallen nation. Yet over the subsequent years, as he has undertaken the actual work of the commander in chief, it has been hard to see beyond the daily chaos of scandal, investigation, and constant bluster. It would be all too easy to mistake Trump's first term for one of pure and uninhibited chaos, but there were patterns to his behavior and that of his associates. The universal value of the Trump administration is loyalty - not to the country, but to the president himself - and Trump's North Star has been the perpetuation of his own power, even when it meant imperiling our shaky and mistrustful democracy.
Leonnig and Rucker, with deep and unmatched sources throughout Washington, D.C., tell of rages and frenzies but also moments of courage and perseverance. Relying on scores of exclusive new interviews with some of the most senior members of the Trump administration and other firsthand witnesses, the authors reveal the forty-fifth president up close, taking readers inside Robert Mueller's Russia investigation as well as the president's own haphazard but ultimately successful legal defense. Here for the first time certain officials who have felt honor-bound not to publicly criticize a sitting president or to divulge what they witnessed in a position of trust tell the truth for the benefit of history.
This peerless and gripping narrative reveals President Trump at his most unvarnished and exposes how decision making in his administration has been driven by a reflexive logic of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement - but a logic nonetheless. This is the story of how an unparalleled president has scrambled to survive and tested the strength of America's democracy and its common heart as a nation.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 27, 2020
    Washington Post reporters Rucker and Leonnig deliver a granular critique of the Trump presidency, from Michael Flynn's ill-fated tenure as national security advisor to the release of the Mueller Report. Contending that "two kinds of people went to work for the administration: those who thought Trump was saving the world and those who thought the world needed to be saved from Trump," Rucker and Leonnig argue that the latter group served as "human guardrails" before they either quit in frustration or were fired. White House insiders lament everything from the preponderance of TVs ("It was like running a meeting in a Buffalo Wild Wings") to Trump's insults ("You're a bunch of dopes and babies," he once told senior military commanders) to the meddling of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. The book's brief epilogue links the departure of Trump's most experienced advisors to his pressure campaign on Ukraine and calls on Republicans to consider "the fate of history" as impeachment unfolds. Rucker and Leonnig try to account for their sources' private agendas (though Chris Christie comes off suspiciously well) and reveal new details about well-known events, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's plans to protect the Russia investigation if Trump fired Mueller. The president's critics will find their worst suspicions confirmed by this doggedly reported account.

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A Very Stable Genius
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Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
Philip Rucker
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