The row erupted over the expected release of a tell-all book on the eccentric life of Donald Trump, called "Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House". Wolff previously was a columnist for USA TODAY. "Absolutely everything in the book", he said. Adding: "I think that's well recognised". Asked what that indicates, Wolff said, "I will quote Steve Bannon: He's lost it". I have recording, I have notes.
Contained in Wolff's book is seemingly page after page of embarrassing descriptions of the West Wing as disorganized and back-biting, and of the president as ignorant, inept and, perhaps worst of all, possessing declining mental faculties.
An employee at a Sacramento Barnes and Noble said they had 12 copies of the book available Friday morning but sold out in 3 minutes. "I can see several places in the book that are wrong". And throughout the day, they had more than 100 phone calls asking about it.
He said that Mr Trump's staff 'all say he is like a child'. President Trump has decried the instant best-seller as "phony" and "full of lies". The acrimony suggests a permanent split between the president and the strategist who helped him win the White House.
"I will quote Steve Bannon", Wolff said. One Twitter user likened the lines at Kramerbooks to "Harry Potter-like queues".
The 71-year-old Republican president, approaching the first anniversary of his inauguration, responded with fury.
He also dismissed claims Trump made overnight in a tweet that he never spoke to Wolff for the book. From the mainstream media, to professional athletes, to Democrats, and even select Republicans, Trump's reaction to their criticism has raised many red flags. Look at this guy's past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
Wolff countered on Friday, saying he did speak with Trump, although the president may not have been aware it was for the book at the time. "Whether he realized it was an interview or not, I don't know, but it was certainly not off the record".
White House press secretary Sarah Saunders said the book is "filled with false and misleading accounts" and is "trashy tabloid fiction".
Wolff's critics aren't limited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He added that it is "extraordinary" that a president would try to stop a book's publication, and another president wouldn't do this. Wolff himself said demands from the president's lawyers that the book not be published had fueled interest in the book, asking "Today" host Savannah Guthrie, "where do I send the box of chocolates?"
"The big picture here is of a White House that is chaotic, of a president whose impulses whipsaw the White House of a lot of backstabbing, front-stabbing", said John Dickerson, host of the CBS News program "Face the Nation".
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