WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Facing a letter from President Donald Trump’s lawyers trying to block the release of a new book, the publishers of “Fire and Fury; Inside the Trump White House” have decided to push up the date for it’s release from next week to today.
The president tried to stop the book from being published because the White House says it is full of false statements.
Fridya morning, Wolff defended his work.
“I have recordings, I have notes. I am certainly, in absolutely every way, comfortable with everything I’ve reported in this book,” he said.
On Thursday, Trump tried to distance himself from his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is quoted throughout the book which is highly critical of the president.
“The big picture here is of a White House that is chaotic, of a president whose impulses whipsaw the White House of a lot of backstabbing, front-stabbing,” said John Dickerson, host of the CBS News program “Face the Nation”.
On the Russia investigation, Bannon is quoted in the book saying that Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner were “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” when they met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton in June 2016.
“It gives validation to something the White House and the president have been trying to undermine,” said Dickerson.
When the news of the Trump Tower meeting first broke, the claims that President Trump huddled with his advisers on Air Force One to discuss how to frame the meeting. A discussion that may have cost the president one of his top lawyers.
Author Michael Wolff writes that Trump campaign lawyer Mark Corallo resigned because he thought the Air Force One conversation constituted obstruction of justice.
Obstruction of justice would fall under Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Wolff also writes that the president asked associates to help pursue an anti-Mueller campaign on his behalf.
In a tweet late Thursday, Trump slammed Wolff and the book.
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. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Wolff said the president was wrong.
“I absolutely spoke to the president. Whether he realized it was an interview or not, I don’t know. But it certainly was not off the record,” he said.
In the book, Wolff writes that Trump’s staffers were increasingly concerned about his mental stability, that “his ability to stay focused, which was never great, had notably declined.”
In an article for the Hollywood Reporter, Wolff continued those claims. He wrote “He was, in words used by almost every member of the senior staff on repeated occasions “like a child.” He added, “They all – 100 percent – came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders forcefully denied those claims.
“If he was unfit, he probably wouldn’t be sitting there, wouldn’t have defeated the most qualified group of candidates the Republican Party has ever seen,” she said.
Thursday, the White House announced staffers and visitors to the West Wing will no longer be allowed to use personal devices. They say the move is for security purposes, not to stop leaks.