The minute that certain ratings-friendly excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new insider book about the Donald Trump administration surfaced, the mainstream media pounced on it without waiting for any real corroboration. Steve Bannon’s quote about Trump’s interactions with the Russian being “treasonous” immediately became the big headline of the day, as did other assertions made by the book. Now, however, a key aspect of the book is being independently corroborated.
One of the big questions about Wolff’s book is how he could have been privy to certain private conversations between Trump’s advisers and allies. For instance he claims to know what was discussed between Bannon and then-Fox News boss Roger Ailes during a private dinner. It turns out the dinner in question actually consisted of six guests. One of them is a reporter for respected entertainment news outlet The Hollywood Reporter. She’s now confirming that it went down the way the book claims.
Janice Min of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted on Thursday that “I was one of the 6 guests at the Bannon-Ailes dinner party in January 2017 and every word I’ve seen from the book about it is absolutely accurate. It was an astonishing night.” (link) She added: “At dinner, Ailes and Bannon discussed managing Rudy Guiliani’s disappointment about Sec of State. Ailes said: ‘Just let him be photographed one or two times walking out of Air Force One. He’ll be fine then.’ It was crazy like that all night. I sat btwn them.”
This kind of independent corroboration from impartial and trustable third parties helps give Wolff’s book a major boost in the credibility department. It’s also since been revealed that Wolff has tapes of Trump’s people saying several of the most quotable lines that he’s used in the book. The more it can be demonstrated that the book is legitimate overall, the more heft it gives to the various assertions made in it – including the most serious criminal accusations made against Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report