Michael Wolff has a book coming out called Fire and Fury. NY Mag
has an excerpt and The Guardian
has some of the juiciest Bannon quotes.
It's entertaining as hell; Wolff tells a good story. But it's a good idea to take this stuff with a grain of salt. Here's a case in point:
Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, “We’ll figure it out.”
“What a fucking idiot,” said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.
Now, I see three possibilities here:
1) Michael Wolff is an animagus. He knows what Murdoch said when he got off the phone because he was in the room, spying on him in the form of a Wolff-spider.
2) As Rupert Murdoch's biographer, Michael Wolff has unprecedented access to Rupert Murdoch, who willingly told him "And then I shrugged and said 'What a fucking idiot' as I got off the phone."
3) Michael Wolff is making shit up.However
, it's notable that Bannon hasn't denied any of the quotes attributed to him. And the quote that's gotten the most attention is this, referring to Don Jr and Kushner's meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower:
The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: “The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.
Bannon added: “You never see it, you never know it, because you don’t need to … But that’s the brain trust that they had.”
Bannon also speculated that Trump Jr had involved his father in the meeting. “The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”
(Aside: I love the part where he casually acknowledges Breitbart is not a legitimate publication.)
Trump is unhappy; he (or somebody speaking on his behalf) has responded with a statement saying that Bannon has "lost his mind"
. He is, as usual, doing the "he wasn't that important or influential in the campaign or presidency anyway" dance.
There's a lot of schadenfreude to be had here, including the Breitbart comments
erupting into anger against the guy who runs Breitbart.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the excerpt on NY Mag, but I don't know that I'll pick up the book; there's a definite feeling of tabloid sensationalism here, I suspect that a lot of it will be gross, inconsequential, and/or made up, and all the best bits will show up on the Internet.
But hey, at least Michelle Wolf is having some fun with it.