Michael Wolff, author of the buzzy book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” said Friday that President Donald Trump’s protestations about the book’s accuracy — including a cease and desist letter from Trump’s lawyers to Wolff’s publisher — come from someone “who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on Earth at this point.”
“He’s helping me prove the point of the book,” Wolff said on NBC’s “Today,” referring to Trump’s attempts to shut it down. “This is extraordinary that a President of the United States would try to stop the publication of a book.”
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked Wolff about Trump’s claim, in a tweet Thursday night, that “I never spoke to him for book.”
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
“I absolutely spoke to the President,” Wolff said. “Whether he realized it was an interview or not, I don’t know. But it certainly was not off the record.”
“I’ve spent about three hours with the President over the course of the campaign and in the White House,” he continued. “So my window into Donald Trump is pretty significant.”
The author admitted to saying “whatever was necessary to get the story,” when asked about his incredible access to the White House and its staff, and acknowledged that his reporting was necessarily based on obscuring the sources of individual tidbits of information.
“I want to be careful about who I spoke to, because the nature of this kind of book is you kind of grant everyone a veil,” he said.
“I work like every journalist works,” Wolff said. “I have recordings, I have notes. I am certainly and absolutely, in every way, comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book.”
“One hundred percent of the people around him” questioned the President’s intelligence and fitness for office, Wolff said.
That apparently includes his family: Jared and Ivanka Trump, Wolff said, are in a “deep legal quagmire” and “put everything on him,” referring to the President.
“They all say he is like a child,” Wolff said, characterizing the descriptions of Trump by those around him. “He has a need for immediate gratification.”
Wolff offered one extraordinary observation: The President’s closest advisers notice him repeating stories after increasingly short intervals of time.
“What’s the suggestion there?” Guthrie asked. “That goes beyond saying ‘Okay, the President’s not an intellectual.’ What are you arguing there? You say, for example, that he was at Mar-a-Lago and didn’t recognize lifelong friends.”
“I will quote Steve Bannon,” Wolff said. “He’s lost it.”