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Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

by Nazir Tabassum

The book was scheduled to be released on January 9 but its release was brought forward four days earlier by the publisher due to “unprecedented demand”. The US President Donald Trump sought to prevent publisher Henry Holt & Co from releasing the book. Thus, the legal threat prompted shooting the book to the top of best sellers’ list worldwide.

The book has jolted Donald Trump and tumulted the world at large. It’s full of explosive claims about the Trump White House.

The book, as claimed by the author, is based upon 200 interviews with White House and campaign staffers, including Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist. The book is an anthology of bombshell claims made by its author. He says that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, sought to become the “first woman president” – a plan she concocted with her husband Jared Kushner.

The author astonishes the reader when he claims that Trump’s campaign team “didn’t actually want to win the election”. Trump, as revealed in the book, has been lead to believe that he may be poisoned. So, he would eat cheeseburger in bed while watching three TV screens at once and calling his friends and tweeting, as a favourite pastime. Quite often he would move into his bedroom around 6:30 pm. He did not share bed with the First Lady who slept in a separate bedroom.

It surprises the reader immensely when the author claims that Melania “cried” when Trump won the election. Steve Bannon, a key source for Wolff, speculates in the book that Trump himself may have met the lawyer and other Russians who met his key aides at Trump Tower in June 2016 after suggesting they had incriminating material on Hillary Clinton. Bannon termed the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a group of Russians “treasonous”, “unpatriotic” and “bad shit”. However, he issued a statement in which he said that these remarks were directed to campaign manager Paul Manafort, one of the four Trump aides. Bannon was disowned by the president and key Republican donors. He lost his job at the far-right Breitbart News Website.

The book says that Ivanka, Trump’s daughter, mocks her dad’s “comb-over” hairstyle which the author claims was because of many scalp-reduction surgeries and cheap hair-dye. The author also claims that after becoming president, Trump found the White House “vexing and even a little scary”.

The book states that the former British Prime Minister Tony Blaire told Trump that the British intelligence services may have been spying on him, during a meeting last February, The Times reported. But Mr Blair told the BBC Today programme that the story was “complete fabrication, from the beginning to the end”.

US media has questioned the validity of statements made in Wolff’s book. New York Magazine claimed that Wolff was able to exploit Trump administration’s political inexperience to gain an unusual amount of insight. The report said: “There were no ground rules placed on his access, and he was required to make no promises about how he would report on what he witnessed.”

It is reputed that the book is based upon recollections and opinions of people who spoke to Mr Wolff, rather than being factual. Mr Wolff said his interviews would only “provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely”.

Donald Trump responded to the claims made in the book by threatening to sue Wolff. He said that Fire and Fury is “the fake book of a mentally deranged author”. But he did not specify which information in Wolff’s book he claimed to be false. The White House said the book is “fiction” and questioned Wolff’s bona fides and access to the president himself. Trump’s hard-hitting lawyer Charles J Harder issued a cease and desist letter to block the release. He also branded it “phony” and insisted he’d never spoken to Wolf “for the book”. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the book contained “ridiculous lies”.

Michael Wolff is a 64 years old US journalist and author who regularly contributes to USA Today, GQ and The Hollywood Reporter. The father-of-four is best known for his columns which feature in New York Magazine and Vanity Fair. He is son of a newspaper reporter. He studied at Columbia University in New York and worked as a copy boy for the New York Times during his times as a student. But his writings have drawn controversy with the subjects of his writing often being the rich and powerful. His writings often focus on giving readers a glimpse into inner-working of the most powerful.

Wolff’s former editor claimed he has no skill greater than creating the “appearance” of knowing things he does not in fact know, and a critic once said he “pushed facts as far as they’d go, and sometimes further than they can tolerate”.

In spite of the uproar, Wolf won national awards for his reporting including a National Award for commentary in 2004.

When Bill Maher, Real Time Host, in a live programme of HBO asked him: “Could there possibly be anything left unsaid or unreported in his book Fire and Fury?

He replied: Yes, and its “incendiary”. Wolf told that one revelation remains undiscovered in his book about Donald Trump’s first year in the Oval Office, and it is a juicy one. But he declined to specify what, exactly that hidden nugget is; yet he conceded that it involves a woman, is ongoing, and that he didn’t spell it out because he didn’t have the ultimate proof.

The Host then asked him: If the Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinski reference wasn’t clear enough, Wolff responded “it is”; when the Host pressed him further, “some body he’s f*cking now”? Wolff said the woman’s identity could be determined by “reading between the lines” in a section toward the end of the book.

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