Controversial author and journalist Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House made a big splash – a yuuuge splash, you might say – before it even hit the stands in January 2018. Excerpts from Fire and Fury rocked the White House and the rest of the world, revealing an administration beset by turmoil, hurt feelings, and of course Donald Trump's outrageous behavior.
Among the many crazy stories in Fire and Fury are anecdotes about the staff's inability to keep the president on track at any given time, something evident to anyone paying attention to each week of the Trump administration. Fire and Fury's revelations delve deep into the strange workings of the Trump White House, getting to the root of the problems (and Trump's hairline). Apparently, when Trump wasn't harassing Mika Brzezinski, he was offering to marry her at Mar-a-Lago. Meanwhile, political "strategist" Steve Bannon reportedly pushed through legislation simply to make liberals mad. And naturally, one of the craziest excerpts from Fire and Fury includes the president bragging about shacking up with married women.
These are some of the most outrageous claims made in Fire and Fury. If Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury excerpts sound a lot like a reality show, keep in mind the person who's "in charge" of all these proceedings.
"Donald Trump's small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would – or, in many cases, should – have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country's future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all – 100 percent – came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job."
"His sons, Don Jr. and Eric – behind their backs known to Trump insiders as Uday and Qusay, after the sons of Saddam Hussein."
“When the unexpected trend – Trump might actually win – seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he called him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania... was in tears – and not of joy.”
"George W. Bush, on the dais, supplied what seemed likely to become the historic footnote to the Trump address: 'That’s some weird sh*t.'"
"'Where’s Donald on this?' asked [Roger] Ailes, the clear implication being that [Steve] Bannon was far out ahead of his benefactor.
'He’s totally onboard.'
'I wouldn’t give Donald too much to think about,' said an amused Ailes.
Bannon snorted. 'Too much, too little – doesn’t necessarily change things.'"
"'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 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad sh*t, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,' [Bannon said]."
"Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, 'We’ll figure it out.'
'What a f*cking idiot,' said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone."
"He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s – nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made."
"Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed. In pursuing a friend’s wife, he would try to persuade the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought. Then he’d have his secretary ask the friend into his office; once the friend arrived, Trump would engage in what was, for him, more or less constant sexual banter. 'Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often? You must have had a better f*ck than your wife? Tell me about it. I have girls coming in from Los Angeles at three o’clock. We can go upstairs and have a great time. I promise.' And all the while, Trump would have his friend’s wife on the speakerphone, listening in."
"Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?
'Errr... that’s why,' said Bannon. 'So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.' That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left."
“Other than being a far-right conservative, it was unclear what particular abilities accompanied [Steve] Miller’s views. He was supposed to be a speechwriter, but if so, he seemed restricted to bullet points and unable to construct sentences. He was supposed to be a policy adviser but knew little about policy. He was supposed to be the house intellectual but was militantly unread. He was supposed to be a communications specialist but he antagonized almost everyone.”
"In business meetings, observers would be nonplussed that Charlie [Kushner] and Jared Kushner invariably greeted each other with a kiss and that the adult Jared called his father Daddy."
"She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate – a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery – surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men – the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color."
"[Kellyanne Conway] had spent a good part of the day calling friends and allies in the political world and blaming [Reince] Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Now she briefed some of the television producers and anchors whom she had been carefully courting since joining the Trump campaign – and with whom she had been actively interviewing in the last few weeks, hoping to land a permanent on-air job after the election."
"'You know when I was young. Of course I feel young – I feel like I was 30... 35... 39... Somebody said, Are you young? I said, I think I'm young. I was stopping in the final months of the campaign, four stops, five stops, seven stops – speeches, speeches in front of twenty-five, thirty thousand people... fifteen, nineteen thousand. I feel young – I think we're all so young. When I was young we were always winning things in this country. We'd win with trade, we'd win with wars – at a certain age I remembering hearing from one of my instructors, the United States has never lost a war. And then, after that, it's like we haven't won anything. You know the old expression, to the victor belongs the spoils. You remember I always say, keep the oil.'"
"Trump, changing the topic, said to [Joe] Scarborough and [Mika] Brzezinski, 'So what about you guys? What’s going on?' He was referencing their not-so-secret secret relationship. The couple said it was still complicated, but good.
'You guys should just get married,' prodded Trump.
'I can marry you! I’m an internet Unitarian minister,' Kushner, otherwise an Orthodox Jew, said suddenly.
'What?' said the president. 'What are you talking about? Why would they want you to marry them when I could marry them? When they could be married by the president! At Mar-a-Lago!'"
"Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: if sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump."
“'Bolton’s mustache is a problem,' snorted [Steve] Bannon. 'Trump doesn’t think he looks the part. You know Bolton is an acquired taste.'"
“Trump, who otherwise seemed to treat [Hope] Hicks in a protective and even paternal way, looked up and said, ‘Why? You’ve already done enough for him [Corey Lewandowski]. You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have,’ sending Hicks running from the room.”