One-time attorney Abramson extends the argument begun in Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America (2018) by widening the net of culprits.
Donald Trump entered the field of presidential contenders without a discernible ideology save receiving money for nothing, a penchant that many actors were glad to serve. In this long, complex study, the author adds evidence concerning the principal actor, Russia, while layering on other parties: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Each has served Trump in various ways—Saudi Arabia, for example, by once bailing Trump out from bankruptcy—and each has been rewarded in turn, with Egypt removed from sanctions, given more military aid than it requested, and legitimated even as elected members of the Muslim Brotherhood were branded as terrorists. There are geopolitical issues surrounding this network of “Red Sea conspirators,” as Abramson dubs them: All are committed to the continued supremacy of the oil economy, all are positioned to contain Iran and Syria, and all are autocratic to one extent or another—and there’s not much Trump likes better than an autocratic leader. Russia remains the principal villain of the piece, but, as the author writes, “the Saudis and Emiratis marked…the additional slate of possibilities opened up by the Kremlin’s burgeoning interest in a political neophyte with malleable ethics.” By Abramson’s extensive account, malleability has shifted into full-blown corruption, as Trump and his associates accepted Israeli intelligence here, Russian offers of support there, and the like. The author’s deft tracing of the undeclared international shuttling back and forth between interested parties of former Trump aide Michael Flynn will make readers wonder why he’s not locked inside a maximum security prison. Abramson closes by connecting the dots in current newspaper headlines: Netanyahu wins reelection in Israel, Saudi Arabia declares war on dissidents and neighboring nations alike, Trump pledges an additional 10,000 American troops for deployment in the Middle East, a prelude to war in Iran….
A richly documented indictment of power and corruption that bears urgent discussion in the coming electoral cycle.