Ronald Kessler

Ronald Borek Kessler is an American journalist and author of 20 non-fiction books about the U.S. Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Six of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  • “Ron Kessler appears to get everything first.”—Slate

As in a play, presidents, vice presidents, and presidential candidates perform onstage for the public and the media. What the nation’s leaders are really like and what goes on behind the scenes remain hidden. Secret Service agents have a front-row seat on their private lives and those of their wives and children. Crammed with new headline-making revelations, The First Family Detail by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler tells that eye-opening, uncensored story.

The First Family Detail reveals:

• Vice President Joe Biden regularly orders the Secret Service to keep his military aide with the nuclear football a mile behind his motorcade, potentially leaving the country unable to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack.
• Secret Service agents discovered that former president Bill Clinton has a blond mistress—code-named Energizer by agents—who lives near the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York.
• The Secret Service covered up the fact that President Ronald Reagan’s White House staff overruled the agency to let unscreened spectators get close to Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton, allowing John W. Hinckley Jr. to shoot the president.
• Because Hillary Clinton is so nasty to agents, being assigned to her protective detail is considered a form of punishment and the worst assignment in the Secret Service.

“Kessler’s such a skilled storyteller, you almost forget this is dead-serious nonfiction.”—Newsweek 
The unvarnished and unbiased inside story of President Donald Trump and his White House by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler
 
Based on exclusive interviews with the president and his staff, The Trump White House: Changing the Rules of the Game tells the real story of what Donald Trump is like, who influences him, how he makes decisions, what he says about the people around him, and how he operates when the television lights go off, while portraying the inside story of the successes that have already brought solid results as well as the stumbles that have turned off even longtime supporters and undercut his agenda.

The Trump White House reveals:
 
•  Trump aides Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have been responsible for Trump’s most disastrous decisions. Trump is aware that his daughter and son-in-law are problems and has hinted to them that they should go back to New York. Seeing Jared on TV, Trump said, “Look at Jared, he looks like a little boy, like a child.”
 
•  First Lady Melania Trump has a tremendous impact on policy and strategy. She sits in on meetings and is widely admired by aides for her judgment.
 
•  Kellyanne Conway is the No. 1 White House leaker.
 
•  Trump’s Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles proposed withdrawing protection from some Trump family members and aides to save money. Horrified White House staffers shot down the idea.
 
•  Trump has told friends that billionaires are constantly asking him to fix them up with longtime Communications Director Hope Hicks, a former model, but he says he refuses.
 
•  Trump calls certain reporters directly, feeding them stories attributed to “a senior White House official,” creating the impression that the White House leaks even more than it already does.

Never before has an American president had so much impact on the country and the world in so short a time as Donald Trump. Yet no president has stirred so much controversy, dominating media coverage and conversation both pro and con.
 
Months after Trump took office, consumer confidence hit a seventeen-year high, unemployment plummeted to the lowest level in seventeen years, and the stock market zoomed to repeated record highs.
 
At the same time, ISIS was nearly defeated, Arab countries banded together to stop financing terrorists and promoting radical Islamic ideology, and Trump’s decision to send missiles into Syria because of its use of chemical weapons and his strident warnings to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made it clear to adversaries that they take on the United States at their peril.
 
Yet for all the media coverage, Trump remains a cipher. Ronald Kessler has known Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for two decades and understands him better than any other journalist. The book includes an exclusive interview with Trump, the only interview he says he has given or will give for a book as president. Crammed with media-grabbing revelations. The Trump White House is the unvarnished and unbiased inside story that answers the question: Who is Donald Trump?
With the CIA at the core of the war on terror, no agency is as important to preserving America's freedom. Yet the CIA is a closed and secretive world-impenetrable to generations of journalists-and few Americans know what really goes on among the spy masters who plot America's worldwide campaign against terrorists.

Only Ronald Kessler, an award-winning former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, could have gained the unprecedented access to tell the story. Kessler interviewed fifty current CIA officers, including all the agency's top officials, and toured areas of the CIA the media has never seen. The agency actively encouraged retired CIA officers and officials to talk with him as well. In six years as director, George J. Tenet has never appeared on TV shows and has given only a handful of print interviews, all before 9/11, but Tenet agreed to be interviewed by Kessler for this book. He spoke candidly and passionately about the events of 9/11, the war on terror, the agency's intelligence on Iraq, and the controversies surrounding the agency.

The CIA at War tells the inside story of how Tenet, a son of Greek immigrants, turned around the CIA from a pathetic, risk averse outfit to one that has rolled up 3,000 terrorists since 9/11, was critically important to winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now kills terrorists with its Predator drone aircraft.

The book portrays Tenet as a true American hero, one who overcame every kind of Washington obstacle and the destructive actions of previous director John Deutch to make the agency a success. As Tenet said in a recent speech, "Nowhere in the world could the son of an immigrant stand before you as the director of Central Intelligence. This is simply the greatest country on the face of the earth."

The CIA at War discloses highly sensitive information about the CIA's unorthodox methods and its stunning successes and shocking failures. The book explores whether the CIA can be trusted, whether its intelligence is politicized, and whether it is capable of winning the war on terror. In doing so, the book weaves in the history of the CIA and how it really works. It is the definitive account of the agency.

From the CIA's intelligence failure of 9/11 to its critical role in preventing further attacks, The CIA at War tells a riveting, unique story about a secretive, powerful agency and its confrontation with global terrorism.

“You make a mistake, there are dead people.” —FBI Special Agent Art Cummings, head of international counterterrorism operations Drawing on unprecedented access to FBI and CIA counterterrorism operatives, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler presents the chilling story of terrorists’ relentless efforts to mount another devastating attack on the United States and of the heroic efforts being made to stop those plots. Kessler takes you inside the war rooms of this battle—from the newly created National Counterterrorism Center to FBI headquarters, from the CIA to the National Security Agency, from the Pentagon to the Oval Office—to explain why we have gone so long since 9/11 without a successful attack and to reveal the many close calls we never hear about. The race to stop the terrorists, Kessler shows, is more desperate than ever.Based on exclusive interviews with FBI Director Robert Mueller, CIA Director Michael Hayden, White House Counterterrorism Chief Fran Townsend, and dozens of key intelligence operatives at all levels, The Terrorist Watch:• tells the previously unreported story of how the United States helped thwart the 2006 London terrorist plot, broke up terrorist cells in Canada, and prevented numerous other attacks • reveals how the CIA and FBI have rolled up more than 5,000 terrorists worldwide since 9/11 • provides a stunning insider’s account from the FBI agent who spent eight months debriefing Saddam Hussein after his capture• pinpoints press leaks that have resulted in CIA agents’ deaths, caused foreign countries to stop cooperating on key investigations, and even tipped off Osama bin Laden to U.S. surveillance• destroys numerous media myths, such as the canard that the FBI and CIA still don’t cooperate on investigations • discloses the truth about the number of U.S. mosques where imans preach jihad• shows how the intelligence community has radically changed its mission—and how the media have misled the public about those changes Never before has a journalist gained such access to the FBI, the CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the other agencies that are doing the unheralded work of finding and capturing terrorists. Ronald Kessler’s you-are-there narrative tells the real story of the war on terror and will transform the way you view the greatest problem of our age.
When Laura Bush moved into the White House on January 20, 2001, everyone wanted to know what kind of first lady she would be. Would she be like Mamie Eisenhower? Would she follow in Barbara Bush’s footsteps? Would she be another Hillary Clinton?

“I think I’ll just be Laura Bush,” she would say.

On Saturday, April 30, 2005, the world got a glimpse of what that meant when she pushed aside the leader of the free world and stole the show at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Wearing a shimmering lime green Oscar de la Renta gown, Laura wisecracked that she was a “desperate housewife” married to a president who was always asleep at nine.

Replayed constantly on the air, the stand-up routine with its impeccable comedic timing turned the first lady into a glittering star. But while the performance catapulted her to new status, it did not answer the question of who this former teacher and librarian really is and just what role she plays in influencing her husband and shaping his administration. The Bushes are more effective than the FBI or CIA at keeping secret what goes on behind the scenes at the White House, the ranch, or Camp David.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler draws back that curtain in the first biography of Laura Bush to be written with White House cooperation. Based on interviews with her closest friends and confidantes from childhood to the present, as well as family members and administration heavyweights like Condoleezza Rice and Andrew Card, Kessler paints a portrait of a woman who, even as she ascended to the heights of political fortune and power, never lost touch with the bedrock American values she absorbed in her youth.

In this unprecedented account, Kessler reveals:

How Laura’s opinions have brought budget changes to a range of federal agencies and have affected her husband’s policies, appointments, and worldview.
Why Laura told her press secretary in May 2001 she did not want to do any more media interviews.
What President Bush said to Laura at the dinner table after giving the “go” for the invasion of Iraq, and what his father, former President George H. W. Bush, wrote him the next day about the war.
What Laura’s own political opinions are and what her relationship with twin daughters Jenna and Barbara is really like.
What Laura says in private about Hillary Clinton, media attacks on her husband, and his victory in the 2004 election.
And why Laura, at the age of seventeen, missed a stop sign and caused a fatal accident that tragically left one of her best friends dead.

LAURA BUSH offers a remarkable look at the private world of this famously reserved woman, as well as the beliefs and attitudes that shape it. The book will surprise readers whose knowledge of the first lady comes from cautious media interviews and speeches.

Laura Bush’s approval rating stands at 85 percent. Since opinion polls first began asking about them, no first lady has received a higher rating. This moving biography is the first to penetrate the secret world of the president’s stealth counselor who is one of our most admired public figures.
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