Amid the wild firestorm sparked by explosive revelations in Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury,” President Trump has ordered his lawyers to take legal action to stop the publication of the book and demand an apology from its author.
The president’s attorneys have sent a cease-and-desist letter Thursday morning to author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt. Trump’s attorneys also issued a cease-and-desist letter to Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who served as a major source for Wolff’s book.
The White House is trying to discredit the book. But there’s a problem: Michael Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them, according to Axios.
Among the sources he taped, I’m told, are Steve Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.
So that’s going to make it harder for officials to deny embarrassing or revealing quotes attributed to them in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” out Tuesday.
Although the White House yesterday portrayed Wolff as a poseur, he spent hours at a time in private areas of the West Wing, including the office of Reince Priebus when he was chief of staff.
Wolff, a New Yorker, stayed at the Hay Adams Hotel when he came down to D.C., and White House sources frequently crossed Lafayette Park to meet him there.
Part of Wolff’s lengthy index entry for Bannon:
What has Trump so livid? Here are key excerpts from the 322-page book, obtained by The Guardian:
“On the the July 8 preparation aboard Air Force One of the initial (and false) explanation, made under Trump’s personal direction, about the Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the campaign: “Ivanka, according to the later recollection of her team, would shortly leave the meeting, take a pill, and go to sleep. Jared, in the telling of his team, might have been there, but he was ‘not taking a pencil to anything.'”
“Nearby, in a small conference room watching the movie Fargo, were Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, and H. R. McMaster, all of whom would later insist that they were, however physically close to the unfolding crisis, removed from it.”
“Mark Corallo [former spokesman for Trump’s personal legal team] … privately confiding [to Wolff] that he believed the meeting on Air Force One represented a likely obstruction of justice — quit.”
Bannon: “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 twenty-fifth 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.”
“If [Trump] was not having his six-thirty dinner with Steve Bannon, then, more to his liking, he was in bed by that time with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls — the phone was his true contact point with the world — to a small group of friends, among them most frequently [longtime friend] Tom Barrack, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another.”
“The unique problem here was partly how to get information to someone who did not (or could not or would not) read … Kellyanne Conway brought him the latest outrages against him. There were his after-dinner calls — the billionaire chorus. And then cable, itself programmed to reach him — to court him or enrage him.”
Reached for comment about the lawyer’s letter to Bannon, Wolff told Axios: “I rest my case.”