The author of the White House tell-all “Fire and Fury” denied on Thursday that he implied the ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, is having affair with President Donald Trump, leading to a confrontation on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that ended in an abrupt commercial break.
Wolff’s implications about an affair began in an interview with Bill Maher on HBO. Wolff told Maher that viewers could “read between the lines” of his book and discover a tidbit of information about an alleged affair the President is currently having. “I didn’t have the blue dress,” he lamented, referring to former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. The book itself suggested that Haley is having an affair with Trump, which she has denied outright.
Wolff told theSkimm in an interview published Wednesday that “she seems to have embraced it,” referring to Haley’s denial of the rumor, and “all she does is hammer on this fact.”
Wolff attempted to argue Thursday morning that he’d made no such implication about Haley, ultimately leading host Mika Brzezinski to tell Wolff “we’re done” and cut to commercial.
“You made news this weekend talking about things you didn’t know firsthand saying you believed it was true but you had no proof that the President had an affair with someone in his administration,” panelist Susan Del Percio asked Wolff.
“Yes,” Wolff replied.
“After a lot of rumors came out, there was speculation that you meant Nikki Haley, and you said she’s embraced it,” Del Percio continued, asking if Wolff didn’t find that implication “absolutely irresponsible at this point in time, where we are as a society, when you’re talking about a woman who’s a high-profile woman in the Trump administration, to go after her without any evidence, without any facts?”
“It just seems that it is so irresponsible,” she said.
“First thing, I didn’t go after her, and secondly, certainly what I meant was I found it puzzling that she would deny something she was not accused of,” Wolff replied.
Brzezinski stepped in: “Do you regret inferring anything about Nikki Haley?”
“I didn’t infer anything about Nikki Haley,” Wolff said. “What I inferred was that the President— is that many of the people around the President believe he is still involved with various women.”
“No, but you said she spent a lot of time, and private time, with him,” Del Percio said.
“Totally, I mean, that’s exactly what people report,” Wolff said. “And specifically, that was about her bid to become the secretary of state. So everywhere in the White House, they were suddenly in quite a panic that this actually happening, which is why they pushed Pompeo out.”
“Michael, you said she has embraced it,” Brzezinski said. “I’m going to go as far as to say you might be having a fun time playing a little game dancing around this but you’re slurring a woman, it’s disgraceful.”
“Mika, again, she has been accused of nothing,” Wolff said. “She has decided to deny what she has not been accused of. Certainly I didn’t accuse her of this.”
“Wait, are you suggesting that the language is not ambiguous in any way in the things that you’ve said and the way you’ve stated it?” the editor of the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, asked.
“Come on, are you kidding?” Brzezinski added. “You’re on the set of ‘Morning Joe,’ we don’t BS here.”
“Well, what’s — read me the language,” Wolff protested.
“Are you kidding me? I’m not reading you anything,” Brzezinski said, adding: “If you don’t get it, if you don’t get what we’re talking about, I’m sorry, this is awkward, you’re here on the set with us, but we’re done. Michael Wolff, thank you. We’re going to go to break now. Bye, everyone. We’ll be right back.”
Wolff responded on Twitter afterward:
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