In a piece at Axios titled The Wolff lines on Trump that ring unambiguously true, the two longtime insider Washington journalists offer tons of support for many of the claims in the book by Wolff.
There are definitely parts of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence. But there are two things he gets absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book’s scenes are fiction: his spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president, and the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.
Why it matters: Wolff captures the contempt some Trump aides have for the president and his family. Axios’ Jonathan Swan notes that this includes people you see trumpeting their loyalty to him.
So Wolff’s liberties with off-the-record comments — while ethically unacceptable to nearly all reporters — have the effect of exposing Washington’s insider jokes and secret languages, which normal Americans find perplexing and detestable.
They go on to say they have conversations with many of the same sources and heard many of the same things.
They then list 14 specific statements, in quote marks, in the categories of
How Trump processes (and resists) information
Instinct over expertise
Low regard by key aides
Here are the very first two of those:
- “It was during Trump’s early intelligence briefings … that alarm signals first went off among his new campaign staff: he seemed to lack the ability to take in third-party information.”
- “Or maybe he lacked the interest; whichever, he seemed almost phobic about having formal demands on his attention.”
You really need to read the entire piece, which is quite brief.
It is clear the Wolff book has empowered many in DC to speak openly of what everyone has been talking about for the past year.
The authors close with these words:
Be smart: More than half a dozen of the more skilled White House staff are contemplating imminent departures. Many leaving are quite fearful about the next chapter of the Trump presidency.
Go read the article.
Oh and by the way, Kramer Book on Connecticut Avenue, which stays open because it is also a bar and restaurant, sold all 75 copies it had of the book as soon as it could starting at Midnight (and before 1 AM this mornig). The book is now #1 on Amazon in the US, #2 in the UK, and #3 in Mexico!