Michael Wolff, the author of a bombshell book about Donald Trump’s White House Friday defended his scathing portrayal of the US president and said “one hundred percent” of those around him questioned his fitness for office.
Wolff, the author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” said he spent three hours with Trump during the presidential campaign and in the White House, rebutting Trump’s claim he never spoke with the writer for the book.
The book was rushed into bookstores and onto e-book platforms today, four days ahead of schedule due to what its publisher called “unprecedented demand” — and after Trump’s bid to block it failed.
The book — which has sent shockwaves across Washington — quickly sold out in shops in the US capital, with some even lining up at midnight to get their hands on it. Trump has decried the instant best-seller as “phony” and “full of lies.”
Wolff said his account was drawn from interviews with those in close contact with Trump and all described him in the same terms.
“They all say he is like a child. And what they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. It’s all about him,” Wolff told NBC’s “Today” show.
“Let me put a marker in the sand here. One hundred percent of the people around him” question Trump’s fitness for office, Wolff continued.
“They say he’s a moron, idiot. Actually, there’s a competition to sort of get to the bottom line here of who this man is. Let’s remember, this man does not read. Does not listen. So he’s like a pinball. Just shooting off the sides.”
Trump’s lawyer is demanding a halt to publication of the book, which goes on sale Friday, and the president insisted in a tweet he had granted Wolff “Zero access” to the White House and denied he ever spoke to him for the book.
“Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist,” the tweet said.
But Wolff confidently defended himself against attacks on his credibility.
“My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth at this point,” Wolff said.
Wolff said he spoke with Trump about three hours during the presidential campaign and after he took office nearly a year ago.
“So my window into Donald Trump is pretty significant, but even more to the point… I spoke to people who spoke to the president on a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute basis,” Wolff added, saying he had notes and recordings of the interviews.
“I am certainly absolutely in every way comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book.”
The book — which paints Trump as far out of his depth — includes extensive quotes from Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, and his publication sparked a very public break between the former allies.
Bannon is quoted accusing Trump’s eldest son Don Jr of “treasonous” contacts with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, and saying the president’s daughter Ivanka, who imagines running for president one day, is “dumb as a brick.”
The book claims that for “Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, the president was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as shit.’ For H.R. McMaster, he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on.”
At least a dozen members of the US Congress, most of them Democrats, were briefed by a Yale University professor of psychiatry on President Donald Trump’s mental health, US media reported Thursday.
The briefing by Dr. Bandy Lee, the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” took place in early December.
“Lawmakers were saying they have been very concerned about this, the president’s dangerousness, the dangers that his mental instability poses on the nation,” Lee told CNN.
The White House issued a scorched-earth dismissal of “Fire and Fury”, its author and his sources, with press secretary Sarah Sanders, calling the book “complete fantasy.”
Behind the scenes, though, Trump has been enraged by the betrayal by Bannon — a man who engineered the New York real estate mogul’s link to the nationalist far right and helped create a pro-Trump media ecosystem.
Sanders suggested that Bannon’s employer, Breitbart News, should consider firing him.
He wasn’t fired, but Bannon’s main financial backer is formally cutting ties with him, The Washington Post reported.