A forthcoming book about President Trump's White House set the Internet on fire on Wednesday and prompted a response from the president after leaked passages appeared in the Guardian and an excerpt was published in New York magazine.
The claimed revelations from Michael Wolff's “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” sent shock waves through social media, with quoted passages in the Guardian stunning some readers.
The passages claim that Steve Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign and served as White House chief strategist under Trump, referred to a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and several Russians at Trump Tower as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous.”
The June 2016 meeting also included Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, who served for a time as Trump's campaign manager.
“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,” Wolff quotes Bannon as saying. “They didn’t have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic ... and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Trump wasted no time firing back at Bannon, saying in a statement, “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
Wolff was given access to the Trump White House in its first year and conducted a reported 200 interviews for it. The Guardian says it obtained the book from “a bookseller in New England.” It is scheduled for release on Tuesday by publisher Henry Holt & Co.
On Wednesday, New York magazine published an authorized excerpt from the book. The passages allege that Trump “looked as if he had seen a ghost” when he realized he had won the election, and that the news made his wife, Melania, cry with sadness.
Wolff also claims that Trump was advised to hire former Speaker of the House John A. Boehner as his chief of staff, and that Trump didn't know who Boehner was.
On Twitter, users had varied reactions to the passages from Wolff's book, with some skeptical about the veracity of the claims: