The Book: The Fixers-The Bottomfeeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers and Pornstars Who Created The 45th President. The shocking, definitive account of the lawyers and media tycoons who enabled the rise of Donald Trump, featuring new revelations from the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Wall Street Journal Team of Joe Polazzolo and Michael Rothfeld.
The First Fixer (Roy Cohn)
Donald Trump kept a photo of Roy Cohn on his office desk. If a business meeting wasn’t proceeding as planned, Trump might point to the photograph and say, in not so many words, You don’t want to mess with me, just look at this mug. That’s my lawyer.
This relationship between Cohn and Trump began in the early 1970s, with Trump a few years shy of his thirtieth birthday.
Cohn built a private practice that pivoted on his ruthless intelligence-he had a photographic memory-on the public perception of his ethical and moral flexibility. Juries had acquitted him in the criminal trials, clearing him of charges including jury tampering, bribery, blackmail, and making false statements. This triumph over the government had once served only enhanced Roy Cohn’s reputation as a rogue who did whatever it took to win. So in 1973, when Trump spotted him at LeClub, an East Fifty-fifth Street Restaurant frequented by New York’s glitterati, he wandered over to Cohn’s table for advice about a legal problem of his own.
Trump Hires Roy Cohn As His Lawyer (Fixer)
When Trump went over to Cohn’s table he explained that his father’s real estate company was under attack from the United States Department of Justice, for discrimination against minorities in its rental buildings. Trump told Cohn that another Wall Street law firm advise him to settle.
Trump asked: “What do you think we should do?”
Cohn answers: “My view is to tell them to go to hell and fight the thing in court and let them prove that you discriminated, which seems to me very difficult to do, in view of the fact that you have black tenants in the building.” He also states: “I don’t think you have any obligation to rent to tenants who would be undesirable, white or black, and the government doesn’t have a right to run your business.”
Boom, this was the clincher for Trump. Donald Trump just had himself a new personal lawyer or in Donald’s world, fixer. The Roy Cohn playbook demands a relentless show of strength. The tactics he deployed in a fight appealed to Trump, who had internalized some of them before he met Cohn: Attack mercilessly. Never admit you’re wrong. Declare complete victory, even when making concessions. Follow through only when pressed, and only as much as required.
Forced Fame And Myths Propagated About Himself
With his blunt-force fame and the myth he’s propagated about himself, Donald Trump has always moved in a world of gossip barons, crooked lawyers, and porn stars. But when he became the Republican nominee for the presidency in 2016, all of these characters crawled out from the underbelly of Trump’s stardom and stumbled onto the global stage with him.
In The Fixers, Joe Polazzolo and Michael Rothfeld have produced a deeply reported and exquisitely drawn portrait of that world, full of secret phone calls, hidden texts, and desperate deals, unearthing the practice of “catch and kill” by which Trump surrogates paid hush money to cover-up his affairs, and detailing Trump’s historic relationship with his fixers from his early influential relationship with Roy Cohn to his reliance on Michael Cohen, National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, and from New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. It traces the arc of their interactions from the 1970s through the 2016 campaign and beyond. It is a distinctly American saga that navigates the world’s of reality TV, cash-for-trash tabloids, single-shingle law shops, celebrity bashes, high-end real estate, pornography, and politics. The characters and settings of this book are part of the vulgar circus that crisscrosses the country, from New York to L.A. to D.C.
Terrifying, darkly comic, and compulsively readable, The Fixers is an epic political adventure in which greed, corruption, lust, and ambition collide, and that leads ultimately, to the White House.
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