Release of Controversial Book Infuriates Trump
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Michael Wolff's explosive book depicting US President Donald Trump as a volatile and ill-equipped chief executive was finally released on Friday despite Trump’s attempts to block its publication, media reports said.
The book entitled “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” had infuriated the US president as the publisher defied his demand to halt its release and instead moved up its publication to Friday because of soaring interest.
Angry at the publisher’s refusal to back down, Trump took aim late Thursday night at Wolff and one of his primary sources, Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, whose derisive comments about the president and his family stirred deep resentment in the Oval Office.
“I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book!” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly before 11 p.m.
The president’s blast at Wolff came at the end of a day in which Trump’s effort to stop publication failed.
In an 11-page letter sent in the morning, a lawyer for the president said the book as excerpted in a magazine article, includes false statements about Trump that “give rise to claims for libel” that could result in “substantial monetary damages and punitive damages,” the New York Times reported.
Undeterred, Henry Holt and Co., the publisher, announced that instead it would make the book available for sale starting at 9 a.m. Friday rather than wait for its original release date on Tuesday.
“We see ‘Fire and Fury’ as an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse, and are proceeding with the publication of the book,” the company said in a statement.
The book infuriated Trump in part by quoting Bannon making derogatory comments about the president’s children. Bannon was quoted as saying that Donald Trump Jr. had been “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign and that Ivanka Trump was “dumb as a brick.”
Bannon had stayed in touch with Trump sporadically after being pushed out of the White House last summer.
Both sides have been defending their respective positions in dueling TV interviews Friday.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed Wolff during an interview on Fox News, saying he never even interviewed the president. She said Wolff "repeatedly begged to see the president" but was denied.
Wolff, however, quotes Donald Trump as one of his sources. During an interview on NBC-TV Friday morning, Wolff maintained that he "absolutely" spoke with Trump.
Whether Trump "realized it was an interview or not, I don't know, but it was certainly not off the record," Wolff said of his conversations with Trump before and after the inauguration in January 2017.