Following the Money to a Trump Presidency

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency
The New

Jane Mayer, a writer for The New Yorker magazine, has done some terrific reporting on money trails and politico-financial cabals. Her work on the Koch brothers led to her 2016 book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. While she was working on the story, back in 2010, she found herself the target of a smear campaign mounted by associates of the Koch empire — which she managed to survive.

This week’s New Yorker has another Mayer article, this time on the dark money contributions of shadowy billionaire Robert Mercer and a network of dark-side political operatives and media outlets that — with a little help from Vlad “The Derailer” Putin and the director of the FBI — put Trump in the White House. Mayer draws a very clear connect-the-dots picture of the way the key players (the Mercer family, Steve Bannon, Breitbart News, Kellyanne Conway, among others) aligned forces to change our world.

What’s remarkable to me is how little Trump himself had to do with the actual masterminding of his own election. Trump does crowds, and brilliantly; these people did the long-range strategy that created the crowds and put him in front of them. Trump is the lumbering, impervious tank the infantry shelters behind as they advance on the enemy — but in this case, the infantry are the masters and the enemy is us. The upshot: Trump is now President, and these people surround him in the People’s house.

Anyway, you might give it a read, if you haven’t already…