Book Review: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff – Dysfunctional White House Under Donald Trump

Lines of Fire and fury for the Oval Office

fireandfuryIn this book, author Michael Wolff caricatures the president of the United States as “an idiot surrounded by clowns,” as described by an anonymous source. It is an incomplete and unsatisfactory sketch.

But keep in mind that the subject, Donald Trump, has been described as a character in a comic and that Wolff’s work can be considered more certain than Trump wants us to create.

Wolff is more precise and incisive when he points out that “many of the versions” of the events of the Trump team “are false, plain and simple, Trump style.” Then, he asks us to be lenient while trying to describe reality.

The president’s own lies and distortions, characteristics of his leadership style, make it impossible for someone to trust him or his assistants.

As a common citizen, Trump developed this method of camouflage to be sold as a human product. By falsely claiming that several stars wanted to go out with him or that British royalty was interested in their real estate, he played with reality.

In a successful businessman, this habit is interesting. In a president, these traits can result kind of worry for the citizen. Although the distortion hides Trump, it does not make it invisible and Wolff detected the outline of his target. Among his great brush strokes, the author enhances some points on the Trump´s unique behavior.

The habit of Trump in avoiding the subject in question, preferring to tell anecdotes and stories that seem rehearsed, again and again.

Or how boring the news meetings seem to him and he is not interested in the details, while demanding extreme loyalty to his staff while creating a very hostile environment around the White House.

Even with the constant internal conflicts, it is criticized that Trump does not believe in the value of the experience and Wolff takes advantage to highlight in his report the serious statements about women and their interest in the subject of the delicate matter of “white supremacy”.

In addition to giving the impression that he is a president not fit for the most important job in the world, Wolff paints, with great brushstrokes, a credible image of those who find it difficult to work with him or who plot their own promotion.

According to him, high officials call Trump “imbecile”, “idiot” and “fool” Revealing on the other hand the aspirations of his daughter Ivanka, who plans together with her husband, to become president someday, if she has the opportunity.

As Wolff reveals, it is likely that Steve Bannon, formerly Trump’s strategist, was the first person to take on the task of controlling the president and succeeded. Bannon is equal to Trump if we talk about egos and maybe he exceeds it in strategic and political matters; He insinuates that he knew more about the president’s plans than the president himself and that he considered Trump to be “a great ape with a kind heart”.

Despite his sensationalist prose, which gives the impression that he was present although it was not, Wolff convinces by writing that White House employees spent a lot of time imagining movie sets.

Account as from the first day, the advisers urged Trump and his closest associates to avoid distancing the press, Congress and especially the intelligence services because “they will find a way to get revenge and will have two or three years of research on Russia, something new will be filtered every day”.

Directed by an impetuous and erratic president, the White House could not show itself worthy before any electoral sector and chose to start a battle with everyone. Common sense indicates that wise men and women advised him to be cautious and Trump’s performance confirms that he did not follow his advice.

Other aspects of Wolff’s story, which is based exclusively on his sources, many of them anonymous, fall into the category of “who knows if it can be true?”.

Among them are:

  • Trump was upset about not being able to stay at his hotel in Washington on the eve of his inauguration.
  • Sean Spicer, the press secretary, was outraged by Trump’s distorted perception of the inauguration ceremony.
  • Bannon motivated the anti-immigrant actions of the first days of the presidency.
  • Trump’s lawsuit with television host Mika Brzezinski began when she commented, in the Oval Office, that she had been there frequently when her father was Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser.
  • Bannon dismissed the idea that Trump’s campaign team had conspired with Russia because he felt he was not competent enough to plot a conspiracy.
  • Several weeks after the inauguration, Ivanka Trump complained that “things are very bad and I do not know how to fix them”.
  • Trump liked to go to bed at 6:30 in the afternoon and have hamburgers with cheese.
  • He controls his own tweets.
  • I really thought that James Comey, former director of the FBI, wanted to Attention – “Comey was a snitch,” said Trump – and deserved to be fired.

Bannon, who managed to influence Trump more than anyone, finally lost the battle for Trump’s attention to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who, according to Wolff, they live “a fantasy life created by them.” In general, Wolff’s story paints a White House full of intrigue, where at first hope reigned but in the end, despair.

At first, Trump’s family thought they could “make this work”, but in a matter of months, “literally there was not a single high-ranking staff member who was sure of that premise.” Part of what Wolff presents is so speculative that his detractors – and Trump’s most passionate defenders – will be able to dissect his work.

These excesses will reduce the impact of the book and, in the end, will be counterproductive to the historical record. “Few of those who knew Trump had any illusions about him.

That was in practice his attraction: he is who he is. Eyes with a twinkle, spirit of thief. But now he was the president “Nobody doubts that Michael Wolff is not exactly a journalist of unquestionable rigor. It is characterized by “embellish” your information.

But, in this case and despite the gray tones, its description does nothing more than confirm from within what other media have been shelling from the outside. Fire and Fury, a publication more typical of an end of government, describes the brutal internal war that he has lived in the executive commanded by Trump.

On the one hand, Bannon. In the other, the daughter of Trump, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner.

Who is the man behind this book so commented these days?

After working as a journalist for more than 40 years, Michael Wolff has become an overnight celebrity with “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” His book describes a gross and dysfunctional White House under Donald Trump.

The public interest in “Fire and Fury” is so great that Wolff’s publisher, Henry Holt and Company, put forward the release date. A few days earlier, Wolff, 64, was almost unknown outside the world of American media.

But his new book about the White House, criticized as “fiction in a tabloid diary,” has catapulted him to number one on Amazon’s bestseller list.

How credible is Wolff?

Trump likes to call any news that does not it suits you as “false news”. But also some journalist colleagues have questioned Wolff for not being true.

In an article published in 2004 in the political magazine “The New Republic”, Michelle Cottle says that “even Wolff himself admits that conventional coverage is not his thing, he absorbs rather the atmosphere and the gossip of the parties or a lunch” Even so, Wolff has twice won the National Magazine Award from the United States, one of them for a series he wrote about the Iraq war in 2003.

So maybe there is more to know in this book that it seems.