A new book is being released next week called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Journalist Michael Wolff was given incredible access to the Trump White House and its staff over the past year, and he's written about the incredible dysfunction he's witnessed. Yesterday, New York Magazine ran an excerpt of the book on its website that featured some incredibly bizarre details about Trump and the White House.
Now, some of the details from the excerpt have been called into question. For instance, at one point Trump is quoted as not knowing who John Boehner is, the previous Speaker of the House. Yet Trump has actually golfed with Boehner in the past and mentioned the former Speaker on the 2016 campaign trail multiple times. But Wolff has defended himself, saying he has recorded interviews with the people he quotes in his book and can defend most of the accusations he's made.
Assuming that Wolff can defend his reporting, here are the 10 craziest things he witnessed in the Trump White House in the past year.
10. Trump and His Team Not Only Planned to Lose, But Wanted To
Basically no one on the Trump campaign expected to win the 2016 election, and they didn’t really want to either. Trump was going to use the campaign to become a media figure and launch his own network. Most of his advisors were looking for jobs at cable networks for after the election. In fact, there was open belief that Trump would make a terrible president, even from Trump himself!
9. Melania Was Distraught When Trump Won
There’s a great scene in the excerpt where everyone is basically shocked, and somewhat pissed, that Trump actually won the election. But the best reaction belongs to Melania, who basically could not stop crying because Trump had promised her he would not win the election.
8. Ann Coulter Was a Voice of Reason
Ann Coulter isn’t exactly the voice of rationality in politics. And yet when no one would confront Trump to dissuade him from hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner as Chief-of-Staff, Coulter was the person who finally told him, “You just can’t hire your children.”
7. Trump May Not Know How to Read
It seems that while Trump knows how to read (probably), he chooses not to. He apparently doesn’t read many documents given to him and has no interest in learning things about politics. In fact, another story from the excerpt says when his advisors sent an expert to teach Trump about the constitution, he started falling asleep once they reached the fourth amendment.
6. Ivanka Openly Mocks Trump’s Combover
An amusing detail from the excerpt is that Ivanka has mocked and revealed to her friends how Trump achieves his iconic combover. “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 center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray.”
5. Trump is Desperate to Impress Rupert Murdoch (and Putin)
In the excerpt, Wolff notes that Trump frequently talks to Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch on the phone to discuss politics and the White House, spending sometimes hours on the phone with him. Many advisors note that Trump’s desperate for Murdoch’s approval, and former Fox News chief Roger Ailes even says, “Trump would jump through hoops for Rupert. Like for Putin. Sucks up and shits down. I just worry about who’s jerking whose chain.”
4. Trump is Very Rude to Housekeeping
Trump is apparently very uncomfortable living in the White House, and one of the biggest reasons is the housekeeping. The cleaning staff apparently picked his shirt off of the floor once, and he yelled at them saying if he had the shirt on the floor, that’s where it belonged. He also has given them strict instructions on how to clean his bedroom, and has emphasized that they not touch his toothbrush.
3. The Administration Has No Idea What They’re Doing
Perhaps not that crazy for anyone who’s followed the news the past year, but the Trump administration comes off as incredibly unorganized and scattered. Six weeks into the administration, Kushner was asked what Trump’s biggest goals as president are. He responded, “We should probably have that conversation.”
2. Trump is the White House Leaker
Trump has railed against leakers throughout his tenure in the Oval Office, and has mostly blamed Steve Bannon for information getting to the press. But Wolff mentions that Trump often spends the entire night calling his friends in New York and openly chatting about White House affairs, and that many of those “friends” are the ones actually going to the press once the conversations are over.
1. Trump is Terrified of Being Poisoned
Before even becoming president, Donald Trump lived in fear of being poisoned. In fact, Wolff says that’s one of the reasons Trump loves McDonald’s. He would walk in and the food would be pre-made, so there was no chance someone could’ve tampered with it.