US President Donald Trump failed to block the release of an explosive new book which has exposed chaos behind the scenes at the White House.
Publishers responded to a cease-and-desist letter from Trump by moving forward by four days the release of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” — an expose by author and political muckraker Michael Wolff that quotes key Trump aides expressing serious doubt about his fitness for office.
Wolff tweeted on Thursday: “Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr President.”
“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,” Trump said in an earlier tweet Thursday.
“Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!” Trump wrote — a possible reference to Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, or Steve Rubin, the publisher of Wolff’s book.
The book — which paints Trump as mentally unstable and far out of his depth — includes extensive quotes from Bannon, who also received a “cease and desist” order from Trump’s attorneys.
The book is based on 18 months of interviews and access to Trump and his senior staff.
Attempts to Block Book
The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said Thursday the president was “furious and disgusted” at Bannon’s attacks on his family, which included the claim that Donald Trump Jr’s Trump Tower meeting with a group of Russians who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.
Then on Thursday, as the White House struggled to contain the fallout from the book, a lawyer for the president sent a letter demanding Wolff and his publisher, Henry Holt & Co, “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination”, or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The legal notice, sent by the Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles Harder, also demanded a copy of the book.
Harder sent a similar letter to Bannon on Wednesday night, accusing the former chief strategist of violating an employee agreement and defaming the president.