Author Michael Wolff’s newly released book about President Donald Trump and the first months of his administration puts forth a series of explosive claims regarding the president.
For example, Wolff indicates that some of the president’s top advisers have made disparaging comments about Trump behind his back. He also claims that White House staffers believe Trump is mentally unfit to be president.
But in an interview Monday with “CBS this Morning,” Wolff was forced to make an admission that raises new questions about the validity of what he wrote in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The author was asked by host Norah O’Donnell whether he personally spoke to any members of Trump’s Cabinet as part of his research for the book.
“I did not,” Wolff responded.
O’Donnell then asked if Wolff had spoken at all to Vice President Mike Pence. Again, Wolff replied, “I did not.”
But Wolff continued to defend his reporting, noting that he spoke with Trump himself for a total of roughly three hours — a claim which Trump has denied.
“The president denies he ever spoke to you for this book, at all,” O’Donnell pointed out.
In response, Wolff said his conversations with Trump were informal.
“I probably think he 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.
What Wolff described, though, does not constitute an interview, according to O’Donnell. “That’s not a journalistic exercise,” she said.
As The Western Journal reported, Wolff says he conducted 200 interviews and enjoyed exclusive access to the Trump White House. Trump, however, said last week he “authorized Zero access to (the) White House” for Wolff.
WARNING: The following tweet contains profane language that some viewers may find offensive.
Despite Wolff’s admission that he did not interview Pence or anyone in Trump’s Cabinet, he did not hesitate to relay how top White House aides reportedly feel about their boss.
“For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as s—.’ For H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on,” the book reads, as pointed out on Twitter by CNBC reporter John Harwood.
Harwood was referencing Trump’s treasury secretary, former chief of staff and chief economic adviser, respectively.
In the book, Wolff even admitted that he was unable to verify everything his sources told him.
Business Insider pointed out that on the tenth page of the book’s prologue, Wolff “included a note that casts significant doubt on the reliability of the specifics contained in the rest of (the book’s) pages.”
Wolff wrote that many of the sources he interviewed lied to to him, while others contradicted each other. But he indicated that in some of those cases, he included the accounts with the goal of “allowing the reader to judge” the validity of the claims.
“Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue,” Wolff wrote. “These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.”
He went on to write that, “Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them.”
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