‘My book will bring down Trump,’ claims Wolff, author of White House exposé
The author of a book that is highly critical of Donald Trump’s first year as US president said his revelations were likely to bring an end to Trump’s time in the White House.
Michael Wolff told BBC radio that his conclusion in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House – that Trump is not fit to do the job – was becoming a widespread view.
“I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect,” Wolff said in an interview broadcast on Saturday.
“The story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can’t do his job,” Wolff said. “Suddenly everywhere people are going ‘oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes’. That’s the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end … this presidency.”
Wolff got more personal in an earlier interview on US television.
“They all say he is like a child,” he told NBC. “What they mean by that is he has a need for immediate gratification. It’s all about him. This man does not read, does not listen. He’s like a pinball, just shooting off the sides … They say he’s a moron, an idiot.”
Trump has dismissed the book as full of lies. It depicts a chaotic White House, a president who was ill-prepared to win the office in 2016, and Trump aides who scorned his abilities.
Trump took to Twitter late on Friday to renew his attacks on Wolff, and on his former top aide Steve Bannon who was quoted in the book.
“Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book,” Trump said. “He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!”
In his interview with the BBC, Wolff was asked if he believed that Bannon felt Trump was unfit to serve as president and would try to bring him down. “Yes,” Wolff replied.
He also hit back at claims that the book was untruthful.
“This is what’s called reporting. This is how you do it.” he said. “You ask people, you get as close as you can to the event, you interview the people who were privy to the event, you interview other people who were privy to the event, you come to know the circumstance as well as anybody and then you report it.”
Trump on Saturday dismissed Wolff’s claims about his capabilities and mental stability, again in a series of tweets: “Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence. Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart … I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!”
Wolff insists he stands by everything in his book and has notes and recordings to back it up.
While Trump said he never spoke to Wolff for the book, the author said he spoke to Trump during the campaign and after the inauguration.
“Whether he realised it was an interview or not,” the conversations were not off the record, Wolff said, adding that his sources told him Trump repeats stories over an increasingly short time period, and that he sometimes doesn’t recognise long-time friends.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wolff never interviewed Trump and “made up a lot of stories” to try to sell books.
Asked whether Bannon was the main person leaking information to Wolff, Sanders said Bannon “spent a lot more time with reporters than he ever did with the president”.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg