The highly critical, tell-all book about U.S. President Donald Trump’s first year in office depicts a chaotic White House and has been roundly denounced by the Trump administration.
Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House hit stores Friday – four days ahead its original released date – and is a book the president insists is full of “lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.” Trump had attempted to block the release of the book this week.
Wolff said in an author’s note that the book was based on more than 200 interviews, including multiple conversations with the president and senior staff. The author defended his reporting during a Friday interview, noting that Trump’s attempt to block his book had been good for sales.
On Thursday evening, Trump tweeted, “I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book.”
WATCH BELOW: Author Louise Penny weighs in on Fire and Fury controversy
Excerpts that were released earlier this week have also caused a public rift between the president and his former chief strategist and top campaign aide, Steve Bannon, over Bannon’s comments in the book about Trump and his family.
Here are four more things we have learned from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
Justin Trudeau made Canada Trump’s “new best friends”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada’s relationship with the U.S. made a brief appearance early in the book.
Excerpt: Kushner was the driver of the Trump doctrine. His test cases were China, Mexico, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. He offered each country the opportunity to make his father-in-law happy. In the first days of the administration, Mexico blew its chance. In transcripts of conversations between Trump and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto that would later become public, it was vividly clear that Mexico did not understand or was unwilling to play the new game. The Mexican president refused to construct a pretense for paying for the wall, a pretense that might have redounded to his vast advantage (without his having to actually pay for the wall).
Not long after, Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, a forty-five-year-old globalist in the style of Clinton and Blair, came to Washington and repeatedly smiled and bit his tongue. And that did the trick: Canada quickly became Trump’s new best friends.
Trump and the Klu Klux Kan
Following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Trump apparently tried to “rationalize why someone would be a member of the KKK” after an address where the president denounced the “hatred, bigotry and violence.”
Excerpt: As he got back on Marine One to head to Andrews Air Force Base and on to JFK and then into Manhattan and Trump Tower, his mood was dark and I-told-you-so. Privately, he kept trying to rationalize why someone would be a member of the KKK – that is, they might not actually believe what the KKK believed, and the KKK probably does not believe what it used to believe, and, anyway, who really knows what the KKK believes now? In fact, he said, his own father was accused of being involved with the KKK – not true. (In fact, yes, true.)
Putin couldn’t care less about Trump
With Trump’s connections to Russia in question, Bannon apparently told former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes that the president expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Putin wasn’t having it.
Excerpt: “What has he gotten himself into with the Russians?” pressed Ailes.
“Mostly,” said Bannon, “he went and he thought he was going to meet Putin. But Putin couldn’t give a sh-t about him. So he’s kept trying.”
“He’s Donald,” said Ailes.
“It’s a magnificent thing,” said Bannon, who had taken to regarding Trump as something like a natural wonder, beyond explanation.
Trump’s inauguration was some “weird sh-t”
Trump’s inauguration got off to a rough start from the get-go, according to Wolff. The author alleges the president was “visibly fighting with his wife,” Melania, who appeared to be “on the verge of tears.”
Excerpt: But, in general, the Trumps’ relationship was one of those things nobody asked too many questions about-another mysterious variable in the presidential mood.
When Trump and Melania met with outgoing president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama, “Trump believed the Obamas acted disdainfully – ‘very arrogant’- toward him and Melania.”
Excerpt: Instead of wearing a game face, going into the inaugural event, the president-elect wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed. This had become the public Trump-truculent Trump.
Following the president’s nearly 16 minute address, Wolff’s alleges in his book Trump thought it was one for the history books.
Excerpt: When he came off the podium after delivering his address, he kept repeating, “Nobody will forget this speech.” George W. Bush, on the dais, supplied what seemed likely to become the historic footnote to the Trump address: “That’s some weird s–t.”
–with a file from the Associated Press.