The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democray By Michael Lewis, is the New York Times Bestseller, with a new afterword. “Michael Lewis’s most ambitious and important book”–Joe Klein, New York Times.
Preparing To Run The Federal Government
Chris Christie noticed a piece in the New York Times-that’s how it all started. The New Jersey governor had dropped out of the presidential race in February 2016 and thrown what support he had behind Donald Trump.
In late April he saw the article. It described meetings between representatives of the remaining candidates still in the race-Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders-and the Obama White House.
Anyone who had any kind of shot of becoming president of the United States apparently needed to start preparing to run the federal government. The guy Trump sent to the meeting was, in Christie’s estimation, comically under qualified. Christie called up Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewindowski, to ask why this critical job hadn’t been handed to someone who actually knew something about government. “We don’t have anyone,” said Lewindowski.
Christie Volunteers For The Job
Chris Christie volunteered himself for the job: head of the Donald Trump presidential transition team. “It’s the next best thing to being president,” he told friends. “You get to plan the presidency.”
He went to see Trump about it. Trump said he didn’t want a presidential transition team. Why did anyone need to plan anything before he actually became president? It’s legally required, said Christie. Trump asked where the money was going to come from to pay for the transition team. Christie explained that Trump could either pay for it himself or take it out of campaign funds.
Trump didn’t want to pay for it himself. He didn’t want to take it out of campaign funds, either, but he agreed, grudgingly, that Christie should go ahead and raise a separate fund to pay for his transition team. “But not too much!” Trump said.
Jared Kushner: Paranoid About Christie’s New Role
Christie set out to prepare for the unlikely event that Donald Trump would one day be elected president of the United States. Not everyone in Trump’s campaign was happy to see him on the job.
In June, Christie received a call from Trump adviser Paul Manafort. “The kid is paranoid about you,” Manafort said. The kid was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
Back in 2005, when he was U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christie had prosecuted and jailed Kushner’s father, Charles, for tax fraud. Christie’s investigation revealed, in the bargain, that Charles Kushner had hired a prostitute to seduce his own brother-in-law, whom he suspected of cooperating with Christie, videotaped the sexual encounter, and sent the tapes to his sister.
The Kushners apparently took their grudge seriously, and Christie sensed that Jared still harbored one against him.
Trump Couldn’t Have Both His Money And A Transition Team
The first time Donald Trump paid attention to any of this was when he read about it in the newspaper. The story revealed that Trump’s very own transition team, led by New Jersey governor Chris Christie, had raised several million dollars to pay the staff.
The moment he saw it, Trump called Steve Bannon, the chief executive of his campaign, from his office, on the twenty-sixth floor of Trump Tower, and told him to come immediately to his residence, many floors above.
Bannon stepped off the elevator to find the governor of New Jersey seated on a sofa, being hollered at. Trump was apoplectic, actually yelling, “You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck this this?” Seeing Bannon, Trump turned on him and screamed, “Why are you letting him steal my fucking money?”
Steve Bannon and Chris Christie together set out to explain to Trump federal law. Months before the election, the law said, the nominee of the two major parties were expected to prepare to take control of the government. The government supplied them with office space in downtown Washington, DC, along with computers and trash cans and so on, but the campaign paid their people.
To which Trump replied, “Fuck the law. I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money.” Bannon and Christie tried to explain that Trump, couldn’t have both his money and transition.
“Shut is down,” said Trump. Shut it down, the transition team. Here Christie and Bannon parted ways. Neither thought it was a good idea to shut down the transition, but each had his own misgivings. Christie thought that Trump had little chance of running the government without a formal transition team.
Bannon wasn’t so sure if Trump would ever get his mind around running the government: he just thought it would look bad if Trump didn’t at least seem to prepare. Seeing that Trump wasn’t listening to Christie, he said, “What do you think Morning Joe (MSNBC Morning News Program) will say-if you shut down your transition?” Bannon thought that if Trump was closing his presidential transition office because he didn’t think he had any chance of being president.
Trump stopped hollering. For the first time he seemed actually to have listened.
“That makes sense,” Trump said.
With that Christie went back to preparing for a Trump administration.
Michael Lews’s brilliant narrative of the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by it leaders through willful ignorance and greed.
The government manages a vast array of critical services that keep us safe and underpin our lives from ensuring the safety of our food and drugs and predicting extreme weather events to tracking and locating black market uranium before the terrorists do.
The Fifth Risk masterfully and vividly unspools the consequences if the people give control over our government have no idea how it works.
This book is a must read for anyone who is confused how Trump really works, it is all about the money, not for the people as much as it is for himself and his businesses. Trump is laser focused on the economy these days, but is it really about the American People or is it about him and his financial goals. We have already heard about how at least 1 Democrat and 2 Republican Senators have been brought to the light over their insider tradings with their stacks, when the Coronavirus was at it’s infancy.
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If you would like to purchase this book, please do HERE: The Fifth Risk By Michael Lewis.
All The Best,