Michael Wolff defended his headline-grabbing new book “Fire and Fury” on Monday, saying he “absolutely” stands by his reporting depicting a chaotic first year inside the Trump White House.
“I spent the better part of seven months in close proximity to everyone in the White House,” Wolff told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview Monday. “I had no agenda. I was perfectly willing to write a book in which Donald Trump was the unexpected successful president.”
But Wolff said his White House sources told him they became increasingly alarmed with Trump’s behavior as his first year in office wore on.
Numerous media outlets have reported on a chaotic atmosphere in the White House since Trump took office. But Wolff’s book stands out in part for the on-the-record quotes disparaging Trump or members of his family made by top current and former advisers, like former chief strategist Steve Bannon. Bannon’s comments in the book appeared to cause a rift between him and the White House, which distanced itself from Bannon in recent days.
Wolff also says:
- Officials close to the president consistently described him as being “like a child,” Wolff said, adding that Trump was someone who “needs immediate and absolute gratification.” Wolff said White House officials described the atmosphere as “becoming more alarming by the day” and that many were “afraid for their own careers and for the country.”
- Top officials openly questioned Trump’s fitness for office and worried about his unorthodox approach to the presidency. “I think almost anything that he does worries [his children and allies] because it’s always unpredictable, it’s extreme, it’s exceptional and it is outside the bounds of what one has traditionally done as the president of the United States,” Wolff said
- Why aren’t people resigning from Trump’s White House if they feel this way? “They have suddenly become people with a patriotic duty,” Wolff said.
- Wolff defended his reporting, after pushback over the weekend about its veracity, but told Woodruff he would not release audio tapes of his interviews. Wolff, a veteran journalist and author, has been accused of inaccurate reporting in the past. “I absolutely stand my ground,” he said.
Watch the full interview in the player above.