“Fire and Fury—Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff is an absorbing read if you are interested in more evidence of Trump’s megalomania, misogyny, idiocy and just plain unfitness to be president. We already have an endless supply of his inane tweets and on-the-record comments to make that case incontrovertibly.
Even so, the lengthy book is packed with delicious reporting on Trump’s behavior and just how much of a numbskull he is. Can you believe he didn’t know who John Boehner was? Or that an expert summoned to coach him on the Constitution grew exasperated after getting to only the Fourth Amendment?
Consider this hilarious moment: “Trump’s understanding of his own essential nature was even more precise,” Wolff wrote. “Once, coming back on his plane with a billionaire friend who had brought along a foreign model, Trump, trying to move in on his friend’s date, urged a stop in Atlantic City. He would provide a tour of his casino. His friend assured the model that there was nothing to recommend Atlantic City. It was a place overrun by white trash. ‘What is this “white trash?”’ asked the model.
‘They’re people just like me,’ said Trump, ‘only they’re poor.’”
Most of the hoopla surrounding the book is focused on Steve Bannon, and if only half the things attributed to him are true, Trump is soundly excoriated. Recently, Bannon, expressing a modicum of contriteness, is regretting some of the things he told Wolff. Others also have come out charging that the book is a work of fiction.
Fiction? Well, after a year of the Trump administration, we are still trying to separate facts from fiction, truth from lies and fake news from reality.
There’s one reality that a large number of Americans would love to see happen, and that’s Trump’s impeachment. Toward the end of the book, Wolff touches on the issue, citing comments made by Bannon. “…Bannon was telling people he thought there was a 33.3 percent chance that the Mueller investigation would lead to the impeachment of the president, a 33.3 percent chance that Trump would resign, perhaps in the wake of a threat by the cabinet to act on the 25th Amendment (by which the cabinet can remove the president in the event of his incapacitation), and a 33.3 percent chance that he would limp to the end of his term. In any event, there would certainly not be a second term, or even an attempt at one.”
Bannon, having been banished from the Trump camp, told Wolff that Trump had “lost his stuff.”
Upon being informed of this comment, Trump fired back that Bannon since his firing had not only lost his job, “but lost his mind.”
Another intriguing fact about the book is how Wolff was able to gain access to the White House and so many other important meetings. He became not only the proverbial fly on the wall but also in the ointment.
You wish there was more discussion about race and white supremacy, although there is mention of Omarosa Manigault-Newman, Vernon Jordan, Valerie Garrett and plenty on President Obama.
Trump, during a troubled moment in Huntsville, Ala., with a crowd growing increasingly restless and bored, invoked the name of former football quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling as the National Anthem was played. That got the applause he needed to get out of a tough spot.
That gambit is typical of Trump, and Wolff has found a trove of them in a book that is full of fire and fury and signifying a lot about the mental stability of a leader who claims he is a “very stable genius.”