Monday 18 June 2018

Author of explosive Trump book says US president has 'less credibility than perhaps anybody who has ever walked on Earth'

Donald Trump talks to Steve Bannon at the White House. Picture: Reuters
Donald Trump talks to Steve Bannon at the White House. Picture: Reuters

Sasha Brady and Rozinia Sabur

A controversial new tell-all book on Donald Trump has had its publication date brought forward and booksellers in Ireland are already reporting a strong demand for the book.

Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House, was written by columnist Michael Wolff.

The book makes a number of embarrassing claims about the president including that he spends his evenings alone in his room eating cheeseburgers in bed, watching TV and talking to friends on the phone - and didn't understand the constitution.

Wolff, who had access to the White House on numerous occasions, claims that contributions have been made by some people in Trump's inner-circle, including his former aide Steve Bannon.

Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House
Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House
Donald Trump talks to Steve Bannon at the White House. Picture: Reuters

The Trump administration claim the book is "full of lies" and Trump's lawyers have attempted to block publication and threatened legal action against Bannon.

This morning, in an appearance on NBC is the US, Wolff said Trump had: "less credibility than perhaps anybody who has ever walked on Earth at this point" and that all the president's staff "say he is like a child".

In a tweet, Trump said that Steve Bannon "has nothing to do with me or my Presidency" and added: "When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

The book was due for release in the US on Tuesday, January 9 but the publishers, Holt & Co, pushed publication forward to today. It's currently only available to buy in the US in bookstores, online and download through Kindle.

Irish readers will also have to wait until January 9 before they can get their hands on a hard copy but the Kindle version is available for download now.

We look at how Irish readers can get their hands on a copy and what the most explosive claims to have emerged from the book so far.

In store

Eason (nationwide)

In stock from Tuesday, January 9. Available in hardback at €21.

Dubray Books (nationwide)

In stock from Tuesday, January 9. Available in trade paperback at €15.99.

Waterstones (nationwide)

In stock from Tuesday, January 9. Available in trade paperback at €17.95.

Hodges Figgis (Dublin)

In stock from Tuesday, January 9. Available in hardback at €17.95.

Chapters Bookstore (Dublin)

In stock from next week, date and price to be confirmed.

Online

Book Depository

Pre-order hardback edition for €24.70 (free shipping to Ireland)

Amazon

Available to order now from £17 (€19 + shipping)

Kindle available now from £13.99 (€16 download)

Here are the ten most explosive claims in the book:

1. Tony Blair told Mr Trump the British were spying on him

Tony Blair warned Mr Trump’s aides that British intelligence agencies could have spied on them during the election campaign, the book claimed.

The former British prime minister shared the “juicy rumour” with Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law, when the pair met last February, and angled for a Middle East role.

Mr Blair suggested the British “had the Trump campaign staff under surveillance, monitoring its telephone calls and other communications, and possibly even Trump himself”, an extract from the book said.

Mr Blair told the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme the claims were a “complete and total fabrication”.

He denied he wanted a Middle East role from the US administration.

2. Trump never wanted to be president

Mr Trump’s wife Melania was “in tears” when he won the election, and Mr Trump looked like he had “seen a ghost” because they expected a defeat, the piece in the ‘New York’ magazine said.

Mr Bannon is quoted as saying he observed the then candidate “morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump” on election night.

Mr Trump reportedly never expected victory, and was considering launching his own TV channel after defeat, while key members of his campaign team were already interviewing for new jobs.

Ms Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, hit out at the claims. In a statement from the White House she said: “This book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section.

“Ms Trump supported her husband’s decision to run for president and, in fact, encouraged him to do so.

“She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did.”

3. The secret to Trump’s hair: Just for Men

The president’s daughter Ivanka believed he used Just for Men to dye his hair, it was claimed, with the colour getting darker the longer it was left on, and impatience explaining the “orange-blond” tone.

The book claims that Ivanka Trump made fun of her father’s comb-over hairstyle, and explained it had come from scalp reduction surgery.

Mr Wolff writes: “She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate – a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery – surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the centre and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.”

4. Trump’s friends called him ‘crazy’

Billionaire Thomas Barrack Jr, who is one of Mr Trump’s closest and oldest friends, is quoted in the book allegedly telling a friend of the president: “He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.”

Mr Barrack has since denied making those comments to a ‘New York Times’ reporter, and has described the quote as “totally false”.

He is reported as saying: “It’s clear to anyone who knows me that those aren’t my words, and inconsistent with anything I have ever said.”

A former White House adviser, Katie Walsh, has also reportedly denied a quote attributed to her in the book saying that working with

Mr Trump was “like trying to figure out what a child wants”.

5. Ivanka Trump wants to be president

The book claims that Ivanka Trump entertained the idea that she would one day run for the White House, and become the country’s first woman president. 

In an extract published in ‘New York’ magazine, Mr Wolff writes that Ms Trump and her husband Jared Kushner made an agreement between themselves that if the opportunity arose for one of them to run for president, it would be Ivanka.

6. Trump sits in bed with cheeseburgers

Mr Trump is said to have banned people from touching his toothbrush, and would strip the bed sheets himself after entering the White House for fear of germs.

The book also claims Mr Trump sleeps in a separate bedroom from his wife, had two extra televisions installed there, and is known to be in bed with a cheeseburger from 6.30pm.

7.  Trump admires Rupert Murdoch

Mr Wolff, who has previously written a biography of Rupert Murdoch, described an incident at a post-election party which the media mogul was due to attend.

He wrote: “Rupert Murdoch, who had promised to pay a call on the president-elect, was running late. When some of the guests made a move to leave, an increasingly agitated Trump assured them that Rupert was on his way. ‘He’s one of the greats, the last of the greats,’ Mr Trump said. ‘You have to stay to see him.’

“Not grasping that he was now the most powerful man in the world, Mr Trump was still trying mightily to curry favour with a media mogul who had long disdained him as a charlatan and fool.”

8. Murdoch called Mr Trump an ‘idiot’

During a phone call with the US president, Mr Murdoch is said to have warned him that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas would appear to contradict his anti-immigration policies and his promises to build a border wall with Mexico.

Mr Trump is said to

have been unconcerned by Mr Murdoch’s comments, telling him that he would “figure it out”.

It led the media mogul to describe him as “a f****** idiot” as he got off the phone.

9. Trump had to be taught about the constitution

A former Trump campaign aide, Sam Nunberg, is quoted in the book saying he had to teach Mr Trump basic details about the constitution.

“I got as far as the Fourth Amendment, before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head,” Mr Nunberg is quoted as saying.

10. Trump hadn’t heard of key political figures

The book tells of a scene between Mr Trump and Roger Ailes, the former chairman of Fox News, who reportedly recommended former House of Representatives speaker John Boehner as a candidate for the president’s chief of staff.

Mr Trump is alleged to have responded to the suggestion by asking “who’s that”.

However, Mr Trump has tweeted about Mr Boehner a number of times since 2011.

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