"In their respective times, con artists gained national influence by controlling the public narrative, selectively using information, falsifying facts, stoking fears, claiming to save the country, and employing the mass media of their day effectively."

In this quietly commanding narrative, Harrington employs his expertise as a retired foreign service officer, national security analyst, and expert in economics and management to examine Donald J. Trump’s improbable ascension to the White House from a long career in real estate development and entrepreneurship marred by grandiosity, fraud, and failure. In Chapter 1, “The Implausible Candidate: Risks Known But Discounted,” Harrington writes, “Based on his public statements, [Trump] changed political parties several times between 1999 and 2012. He threatened to run for president on several occasions, mostly to attract attention. Yet he never adopted the tenets of either major party, shifting from day to day depending on his moods.”

Harrington explores the theme of “politician as con artist” in well-notated, logically structured chapters that support his thesis with verifiable data. The end matter contains profiles of the Trump organization’s foreign supporters, enablers, and collaborators. The author’s premise that President Trump is incompetent, unfit for high office, and primarily invested in promoting his international business interests is not conjecture or opinion based on hyperbole or popular partisan sentiment. Rather, it is based on an evaluation of Trump’s known personal and business history in tandem with an examination of the dynamics and trajectory of the first two years of his administration.

Citing the work of reputable news journalists and the writings of contemporary experts in a wide variety of fields, this narrative serves as a timeline and reference guide to known facts about the complicated, contradictory man who ascended to the national stage via a perfect storm of political and historical circumstances. Harrington systematically and effectively demonstrates why Trump could be considered the most controversial, divisive, and, potentially, the most dangerous president in the history of the United States of America.

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