Author and journalist Michael Wolff's new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, chronicles the time from the final days of Donald Trump's presidential campaign to his tenure as president till October 2017.
The book — set to hit the stores next week — has already placed itself in the midst of much brouhaha, thanks to excerpts released by New York Magazine.
The White House has disputed the contents of the book and described it as fiction. "This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Sanders has said.
Here's a look what the book portrays Donald Trump as:
1. A presidential candidate whose expectations involved losing
According to the book, Trump did not want to be the president of the US and First Lady Melania was in tears – not of joy – on knowing about his surprising electoral victory in 2016.
Wolff claims that on the eve of the presidential election results, Trump and his staff shared the view of an imminent loss:
"Even though the numbers in a few key states had appeared to be changing to Trump’s advantage, neither Conway nor Trump himself nor his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — the effective head of the campaign — wavered in their certainty: Their unexpected adventure would soon be over. Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be."
Another claim made in the book says that Trump was in the presidential race thinking that losing was actually a good thing.
"Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning."
2. A man who supports H1B visa
The book says that Trump was sympathetic to the issues of Silicon Valley including the H-1B visa issue, contrary to his public views on the popular work visa.
Trump had made the alleged abuse and fraud in H-1B visa system a major election issue during his election campaign. After becoming the president, he signed an executive order aimed at tightening the process of issuing the H—1B visas.
But Wolff writes that after a meeting with a delegation of Silicon Valley leaders at the Trump Towers on 14 December, 2016 , Trump, then as president-elect, said that the tech industry needed help on the issue of H-1B.
“Oh, great, just great,” said Trump. “These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.”
“Donald,” said Murdoch, “for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.”
“Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas.”
Wolff claims in the book that Trump assured Murdoch that they'll "figure it out", to which Murdoch responded saying: "What a f*****g idiot."
3. A US citizen with 'wide-ranging' ignorance of the constitution
In the book, Wolff claims that Trump's aide Sam Nunberg had to enlighten the then-candidate on the US Constitution.
"Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” Nunberg recalled, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”
4. A newly-elected president who found the White House scary
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House claims that Trump was accustomed to his "commodious" Trump Tower. His former life made him uncomfortable upon his arrival at the White House, claims the book.
"Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom — the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room."
5. An American who enjoys his cheeseburgers
The excerpt published in New York Magazine talks about Trump's "longtime fear of being poisoned", which is why he ate McDonald's since the food was "safely premade". It further claims:
"If he was not having his 6:30 dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls — the phone was his true contact point with the world — to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another."
6. A businessman-turned-president who was once annoyed by the lack of A-listers at his inauguration party
The 20 January ceremony, attended by almost every living former US president, did not have enough celebrities to please Trump on his inauguration.
"He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed."
The Independent said in a report that the inauguration committee had a tough time finding performers for the event. It further reported that Elton John, Céline Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Garth Brooks had rejected the invitations to perform.
7. A president who is seen by his staff as a 'semi-literate'
Trump does not enjoy reading, claims the book. Wolff further explains him as a confident person, who behaved "as if his gut was... telling him what to do."
"And making suggestions to him was deeply complicated. Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn't process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn't really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-literate. He trusted his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s."
During the presidential campaign in 2016, upon being asked about reading any presidents’ biographies, The Washington Post quoted Trump as saying: “I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy, I guess, than ever before."
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Jan 04, 2018 19:46 PM | Updated Date: Jan 04, 2018 19:51 PM