(National Sentinel) Fiction: Michael Wolff, the author of an explosive new book about Donald J. Trump’s presidency, has admitted that he cannot say that everything contained in its pages is 100 percent accurate, which has thrown all of what’s in the tome in doubt for many critics.
A political firestorm surrounding the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” began earlier this week after excerpts of it were featured by The Guardian.
Among other things, Wolff quoted former top Trump political strategist Steve Bannon as saying that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016 as being treasonous.
He also predicted that special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation is focusing on “money laundering” involving former campaign manager Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Kushner.
“Trump is not spared,” the news site reported. “Wolff writes that Thomas Barrack Jr, a billionaire who is one of the president’s oldest associates, allegedly told a friend: ‘He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.’”
But in an author’s note included in the book, Wolff said he was not certain that all the allegations, accusations and statements in the book were true, casting significant doubt on all of its contents, critics charged on Friday.
He said several of his sources were flatly lying to him, while others said things that were contradictory in nature.
Many of those were nonetheless included in his book. Wolff said in his author’s note that he and the publisher are including them, “allowing the reader to judge” whether the sources’ claims are true.
In other instances, Wolff said he used his instincts as a journalist to relay “a version of events I believe to be true.”
“Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book,” he wrote.
“Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in the accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true,” he continued.
However, reported by Business Insider:
The book itself, reviewed by Business Insider from a copy acquired prior to its Friday publication, is not always clear about what level of confidence the author has in any particular assertion.
The book makes a number of significant, yet unsubstantiated, claims, including that Trump never wanted to be president, that all of his senior staff considered him an idiot, that he tried to lock the Secret Service out of his room, and that he ate at McDonald’s to avoid being poisoned.
For his part, the president tweeted that he never spoke once to Wolff.
“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!” he wrote, the last part being a jab at Bannon.
More than one alleged source has already refuted a quote attributed to them in the book. Wolff claimed that longtime friend and confidante of Trump’s, billionaire real estate developer Thomas Barrack Jr., had some hard words for the president.
As for Barrack, a longtime friend of Trump’s, he has also denied saying what Wolff claimed.
The New York Times’ Maggie Habberman reported that Barrack told her the quote is “totally false.”
“Barrack said he spoke to Wolffe once, says he never said the quote attributed to him to Wolffe or anyone. ‘Totally false,’ Barrack said by phone just now. Tom Barrack adds, ‘It’s clear to anyone who knows me that those aren’t my words and inconsistent with anything I’ve ever said.’ He says Wolffe never ran that quote by him to ask if it was accurate,” tweeted Haberman.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who the book said warned Trump that he may be under surveillance from British spies, issued a statement saying the claim is “categorically absurd” and “simply untrue.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to engage reporters who asked about the administration’s response to the book’s charges and claims.
“I’m not going to waste my time or the country’s time going page by page and talking about a book that is complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip,” she said Friday.
In an interview with Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie, Wolff defended his book and his journalistic chops.
“My credibility is being questioned by a man who has less credibility than perhaps anyone who has ever walked on Earth at this point,” he said, in an apparent reference to Trump.
However, as The Washington Post reported, Wolff has a lengthy history of getting facts wrong or inventing them out of thin air.
“He has been accused of not just re-creating scenes in his books and columns, but of creating them wholesale,” the paper reported.
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