Michael Wolff has spoken in apocalyptic terms at times about President Donald Trump in the aftermath of his explosive new book’s release, suggesting it could even help “end his presidency.”
Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House has become an instant bestseller with its juicy story of a White House coming apart at the seams, headed by a childish, unfocused, and semi-literate Trump, whose top aides doubt his mental faculties and ability to do the job.
Wolff has said repeatedly that he started the project without a political agenda, but he came away from it believing his work could bring Trump down.
“You know, I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor-has-no-clothes effect,” Wolff said on BBC Radio. “That, the story that I have told seems to present this presidency in such a way that it says he can’t do his job. The emperor has no clothes. Suddenly everywhere people are going: ‘Oh my God, it’s true, he has no clothes.’ That’s the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end this—that will end this presidency.”
Wolff also said people around Trump in the White House believe he will be “sunk” if special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation gets into his finances.
“People don’t think in the White House—don’t think that he colluded with Russia. … They do think that if the investigation goes near his finances, he’s sunk. Everybody, again, to a man,” Wolff said on CNBC.
Wolff told CNN’s Don Lemon that it would be “irresponsible” not to question Trump’s fitness as the president, and he has predicted in several interviews, including on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that Trump’s presidency is “going to hit a wall.”
“You cannot listen to this man talk without at least contemplating the possibility that something is grievously amiss,” he told Lemon.
Wolff also said his concerns arose to “25th amendment” levels, citing the transition of powers if the president is unable to fulfill his duties. Wolff wrote in the book that top aides alluded to the 25th amendment when discussing their troubling observations of Trump.
When Wolff told CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert that he did not expect the book would make a splash, Colbert sounded surprised, pointing out the highly negative portrayal of Trump as unstable and unfit for office.
“I thought we knew this,” Wolff said to laughs from the left-leaning audience.
Wolff, who relied heavily on former White House strategist Steve Bannon for the book, told NBC’s “Today” that he would quote Bannon directly in his assessment of Trump: “He’s lost it.”
“This guy does not know how to be president, is not really interested in being president, and frankly, in any reasonable world, cannot be president,” Wolff said on ABC’s “The View.”
The book has naturally attracted strong pushback from Trump himself, who has called it a “garbage book by a garbage author” and said it is full of lies. His legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff and his publisher before its publication, and the book also contributed to a stunning fallout between Trump and Bannon.
By Wolff’s own admission, the book is not completely reliable since his sources, he says, conflict with each other at times. It also contains numerous factual errors and typos that the author blamed on it being rushed to print.
Wolff has stressed, however, that he stands by every word in Fire and Fury and that readers should believe every word.
“I am up to a particular kind of scrutiny because I am threatening the president of the United States,” Wolff told MSNBC’s Katy Tur, when pressed about the criticisms of the book’s errors.