Michael Wolff: The answer is blowing in the wind
We hear that Fire and Fury is selling like crazy.
Let's hope the publisher has a Plan B, or the moment when used copies flood Amazon. I have not read the book, but hearing serious people like Karl Rove comment on the book confirms that there is nothing there. It is a lot of "I think he said this." It is a travesty!
According to news reports, Wolff's book is based on quotes that were blowing in the wind because he did not speak to members of the Trump Cabinet:
When asked if he had spoken with any of Mr. Trump's Cabinet members, or with Vice President Mike Pence, Wolff replied, "I did not."
The White House's pushback against Fire and Fury – which is currently the bestselling book on Amazon – includes criticism of Wolff, with President Trump claiming that he was never interviewed by the writer. Wolff stated emphatically that he had spent three hours with Mr. Trump over the course of the campaign, during the transition, and then in the White House. "The important point I want to make is this book is not about my impression of the president. I came into this with no agenda."
"It does also read [as if] your main source is Steve Bannon. Would that be correct to say that?" asked co-host Norah O'Donnell.
"It would be not correct," Wolff replied. "He's a very large source here, but there are many, many, many [sources.]"
"But you have written, it's worse than anybody thought, that he's mentally unstable, that he's an idiot," O'Donnell said.
"I did not say he's mentally unstable," Wolff said. "I would not be qualified to do this. I have merely described – and mostly not my impressions, the impressions of other people, of the people he deals with on a daily basis."
The president has denied he ever spoke with Wolff for the book.
"I think he probably had no idea he was speaking to me for this book. When I would meet the president in the White House, we would chat as though we were friends," he said. "I have sat down with the president for extended periods of interviews. But there are other periods – and that's essentially what he's saying. They're trying to parse this, saying, 'Oh, I didn't know I was speaking to him when I saw him in the White House.'"
"Just to clarify, the White House says the last time they have a record of you meeting with President Trump was February 2017," said O'Donnell. "Did you interview him after that date?"
"Let's separate this out: I interviewed him at that point. After that, we would speak – I'm sure he didn't think they were interviews, and in all fairness, he might say, 'I was not being interviewed.'"
He agreed that since the arrival of John Kelly as White House [c]hief of [s]taff a lot has changed, including the departure of the core of the White House staff. "The thing that has not changed, of course, is Donald Trump."
So what in the world is this all about? It sounds like an irresponsible book with lots of quotes from people the author did not speak to, plus a president who did not know he was being interviewed.
Maybe we should invoke journalism's equivalent of the 25th Amendment. Who is crazy in this story? His name is Wolff!