Monday 21 January 2019

Cheeseburgers in bed and 'horror' at election win: explosive book’s key claims about Trump as it's to be released early

U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Rozinia Sabur

Donald Trump was “horrified” by his election win, his wife Melania was in tears and his friends believe he is “crazy”, according to an explosive new book.

The embarrassing claims are made in ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’, written by journalist Michael Wolff and based on 200 interviews with Mr Trump, his inner circle and other key players.

It is due to be released on Friday - four days earlier than planned due to demand. An article by the author published online on Wednesday revealed claims made in the book that are deeply embarrassing for the US president.

One of the book’s key sources appears to be Steve Bannon, the influential former White House chief strategist, who is quoted disparaging the president’s son Donald Junior.

Donald Trump has attacked his former chief strategist Steve Bannon (Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)
Donald Trump has attacked his former chief strategist Steve Bannon (Saul Loeb, Pool via AP)

The president issued a statement in response to the book, saying Mr Bannon had “lost his mind” and “rarely” met with him one-on-one before leaving the  White House in August.

Mr Trump is taking legal action against Mr Bannon, claiming libel and defamation.

Republican firebrands and allies of Mr Trump have come out to contradict the revelations which have gripped US media, but what are the most explosive claims in the book?

Here are the top 10:

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.

Irish Independent

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