What made Donald Trump and his administration think that Michael Wolff would write a positive book about them if they gave him insider access to the West Wing? Apparently it was his longtime habit of writing about the rich and famous and powerful, which led them to believe that he would glamorize Trump. It turns out one phone call could have prevented the entire thing from happening, and now Wolff is gloating about it.
Trump and his people gave Wolff unlimited access to their chaotically run and poorly overseen White House, and he took advantage of it. He walked around recording people. He managed to coax some of Trump’s own top advisers, including Steve Bannon, into saying terribly embarrassing things about Trump while they were still working for him. Wolff’s book is built largely on negative quotes that Trump’s people gave him about Trump and about each other, meaning the book wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t thrown open the door to him. So how did it happen?
Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair tweeted this, revealing just how easy it would have been for Trump’s allies to have prevented this calamity: “One of the baffling things about Trumpworld giving access to Wolff: all they needed to do was call Murdoch and he would have said don’t cooperate b/c Wolff had written nasty book on him. And Jared/Trump speak to Murdoch all the time!” Michael Wolff responded by quoting that tweet, and deadpanning “I kept waiting for that call to be made.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is inaccurately ranting and raving about how it all went down: “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!” Too late, Sloppy Donald.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report