Michael Wolff taped conversations and interviews in the White House and astonishingly, was allowed to wander around unmonitored while doing so. Apparently Trump Co. thought he was totally on their side. He wasn’t. This is reminiscent of what Tom Wolfe did with Radical Chic, taping wealthy liberal New Yorkers at a Black Panther fundraiser. Wolfe made them look like idiots, using their own words, which he too had taped.
While Wolfe’s omnipresent viewpoint can be a bit disconcerting, and you may wonder how he got a certain conversation verbatim, there have been no substantive disagreements about what he reported. That’s important. For example, Bannon regretted saying things Wolff quoted in the book but did not say he didn’t say them.
The Trump White House, as exhaustively documented by Wolff, was and is a snake pit of mostly amateur idiots who are in way over their heads and spend their time plotting against other factions to compete for the attention of the Doddering Daddy. Comically, they especially compete to be the final person to talk to Trump before he makes a decision because Trump invariably parrots whoever he talked to last. Wow, now that’s some kind of powerful leadership, isn’t it?
Bannon comes across as the one with the most knowledge of how politics works, and was scathing, sometimes to their faces, to Jarvanka, who he (I think quite rightfully) considers to be spoiled brat idiots. Case in point: Jarvanka were responsible for getting Scaramucci hired because they thought he would support their faction. The Mooch, of course, quickly self-destructed and Jarvanka then quickly were publicly horrified he was ever hired. Bannon said repeatedly, sometimes to Trump directly, send Jarvanka back home, because if they stay in the White House they will inadvertently destroy you.
Oh, Trump is most certainly not playing n-dimensional chess. Often, after tweeting something idiotic or incendiary, Trump was baffled at the hostile response it got. He genuinely does not understand politics.
My one quibble with the book is it makes the cast of idiots just looks like idiots, when the truth is many of them are racist to core, corrupt, and uncaring about the damage they are causing by their blundering.
After reading Fire and Fury I’m even more convinced Trump will fall.