A tell-all book about Donald Trump is sending shockwaves through Washington. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House comes from journalist Michael Wolff, and it’s full of astonishing claims about President Trump and his administration. It’s so shocking, in fact, that Trump’s lawyer sent Wolff a cease and desist letter.
So just what’s in this tell-all that’s causing such a stir? Here are some of the unbelievable — and largely uncorroborated — allegations Wolff makes in Fire and Fury, ranked from least shocking up to the No. 1 most shocking secret.
10. The travel ban was intentionally enacted on a Friday to make people angry
When the Trump Administration enacted its travel ban back in January 2017, the backlash was swift and fierce. Even conservatives who supported the idea felt that the administration handled it poorly. It was enacted with no warning on a Friday, when it would be most disruptive at airports.
Wolff’s book claims that this was exactly the intention. When asked why the ban would be enacted on Friday, the day it would cause the most chaos, Bannon apparently said, “Errr … that’s why. So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.” Wolff supposes that this was the conservative administration’s way of driving liberals “crazy.”
Next: A surprising allegation regarding what Trump’s advisors really think of him.
9. Many of Trump’s advisors think he’s an idiot
In general, Fire and Fury paints a picture of a White House staff consisting mainly of people who believe that Trump is a moron. Wolff claims that Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus think Trump is an “idiot,” H.R. McMaster thinks he’s a “dope,” and Gary Cohn thinks he’s “dumb as sh*t.”
Speaking of Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic advisor, Wolff’s book includes what he says is an email representing the views of Cohn. It reads, in part, “It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything – not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better… I am in a constant state of shock and horror.”
Next: What apparently happens when those around Trump need to get him to understand something.
8. Those around Trump have trouble getting him to process information
Wolff claims that early on in the campaign, consultant Sam Nunberg tried to teach Trump about the Constitution. However, the book quotes Nunberg as saying, “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.”
Wolff also claims that Trump’s staff has a difficult time getting him to pay attention or read. “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense – or, in a way, he didn’t process it at all,” Wolff writes. “Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim … Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-literate … Some thought him dyslexic; certainly his comprehension was limited.”
Next: This was apparently going on in private on the day of the inauguration.
7. Trump was miserable and fought with his wife at the inauguration
Apparently, the inauguration was not pleasant for Donald or Melania Trump. Wolff’s book claims that Donald Trump did not enjoy the day, first because he was upset that A-list celebrities snubbed the event. He also was “disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House.”
Finally, the book claims he was “visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears and would return to New York the next day; almost every word he addressed to her was sharp and peremptory.”
Next: Another shocking allegation about the private life of Donald and Melania Trump.
6. Donald and Melania sleep in separate bedrooms
Wolff claims that Donald and Melania Trump sleep in separate bedrooms in the White House. This would make them the first White House couple since the Kennedys to do so. Even before he became president, Wolff alleges that Donald and Melania “spent relatively little time together” and could go days without contact.
In addition, the book says that in his early days at the White House, Trump ordered a lock be installed on the door. This led to a “standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room.”
The book goes on to say that if he’s not in a meeting with Steve Bannon at 6:30 p.m., Trump likes to lay in bed eating cheeseburgers and watching three separate televisions. He also really dislikes it when anyone touches anything in the room, not wanting housekeeping staff to pick up his shirts from the floor because “if my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor.”
Next: A shocking revelation about Ivanka Trump’s plans for the future.
5. Ivanka Trump wants to run for president
Some have suggested that after Trump finishes his time in office, Ivanka Trump will run for president. Fire and Fury seems to confirm that this is the plan.
The book alleges that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were strongly advised against taking jobs in the White House. But they decided to do so. Why? Well, as the book says, Jared and Ivanka “had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president.”
The book goes on to say that Steve Bannon scoffed at this idea. When he heard about it, he responded, “Stop. Oh, come on. They didn’t actually say that? Please don’t tell me that. Oh my God.”
Next: This section in the book seems to confirm something Trump’s critics have suggested.
4. Trump did not want to become president and was shocked when he won
It has been speculated that Trump never intended to become president and just ran for the publicity. Fire and Fury suggests this is an accurate assessment. According to the book, Trump told an aide near the beginning of the campaign that by running he “can be the most famous man in the world.” He also said that he didn’t think of losing the election as losing at all, as he would come out of it with more powerful brand opportunities.
Not only that, but the book claims that virtually the entire campaign thought they would lose. This included Michael Flynn, who the book quotes as saying that Russians paying him for a speech “would only be a problem if we won.”
So on the night of the election, the book claims that Trump “looked as if he had seen a ghost.” Melania Trump, meanwhile, was “in tears.” On that night, Trump apparently went through a range of emotions. First, he was in disbelief. Then, he was horrified. And then, finally, he convinced himself he deserved to be president.
Next: If true, this would make Trump’s own supporters quite angry.
3. Trump didn’t care about repealing Obamacare and floated Medicare For All
All throughout the campaign, Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, which he called a disaster. But Fire and Fury claims that after becoming president, Trump didn’t care that much about doing so. In fact, Wolff writes, “He was even, when push came to shove, rather more for Obamacare than for repealing Obamacare.”
Wolff also claims that Trump asked his aides, “Why can’t Medicare simply cover everybody?” This, of course, is surprising to hear come out of Trump’s mouth, considering “Medicare For All” is exactly what has been proposed by Bernie Sanders and others on the left.
Later, Wolff says that Trump wasn’t interested in the details of any of the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. He simply went along with what House Republicans were doing without caring that much about it. Wolff quotes Roger Ailes as saying that “no one in the country, or on earth, has given less thought to health insurance than Donald.”
Next: A shocking and vulgar quote that Wolff attributes to Donald Trump.
2. Trump said that he likes to sleep with his friends’ wives
Wolff claims, “Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed.”
Wolff says that Trump would pursue his friends’ wives and try to convince them that their husband wasn’t what they thought. He would then have a conversation with the friend and try to convince him that he can get a better woman than his wife; during this whole conversation, he’d have the wife on speakerphone listening in.
On this topic, Wolff quotes a close friend of Trump’s as saying that he’s similar to Bill Clinton, except “that Clinton had a respectable front and Trump did not.”
Next: Someone who was once close to Trump has this surprising opinion about the Russia investigation.
1. Steve Bannon believes Trump Jr. committed treason
One section of the book quotes Steve Bannon, Trump’s former senior counselor, as saying Donald Trump Jr. committed treason when he met with a Russian lawyer regarding damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad sh*t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon is quoted as saying. He also says that the only reason someone would have a meeting like this is if they were “totally amoral.”
Not only that, but Bannon speculates that Donald Trump himself was involved in the meeting. Bannon allegedly said, “The chance that Don. Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”
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