by Taylor Brown
What Fire & Fury Tells Us About Trump’s White House
2018 was kicked off with a new wave of White House drama as Michael Wolff dropped his latest piece, Fire & Fury, a scathing expose on the turmoil that plagues Trump’s White House. As White House staffers scrambled to manage the aftermath of such a salacious book, Trump’s fingers twiddled away to formulate a thread of semi-coherent tweets which ripped into Michael Wolff and his former chief of staff, Steve Bannon. Besides Trump, Steve Bannon may be the one seeing the worst backlash since the book’s release. The comments supposedly made by Bannon (in the book) are anything but generous.
Before we can dive into the horrifying (but unsurprising) details, we have to answer one question. Who is Michael Wolff? He’s an author and journalist who has written for publications such as Vanity Fair, USA TODAY, and New York Magazine. He’s best known for his 2009 biography of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns The News. His other work includes 1997 Burn Rate, 2009 Autumn of The Mongols, and his award-winning 2003 column written about the Iraq War. Wolff’s drawn discontent from fellow journalists for showing a disregard for facts and truthful reporting. He’s been regarded as a sensationalist writer who’s obsessed with multi-billionaires. The author’s newest publication is even under fire for false facts and misquoting his sources. In a review of “The Man Who Owns the News,” a biography of Rupert Murdoch, Darr Carr wrote that “historically one of the problems with Wolff’s omniscience is that while he may know all, he gets some of it wrong.” However, whether or not you trust Michael Wolff’s credibility doesn’t change that fact that the events he depicts are far from the behavior and actions of past presidents and their staffs.
Fire & Fury validates everyone’s fears about the current administration. Horror stories have flooded the media recently. Headlines read: “Will Ivanka be the first female president?”, “New Book Claims Melania Cried on Election Night”, and my favorite “Trump Eats Mcdonalds Because He’s Afraid of Being Poisoned.” The new book even reveals that Trump’s own staffers are concerned about his capability to fulfill his duties as President. His mental capacity is called into question many times by the author’s sources. Wolff reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “moron” and ex-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said he was an “idiot.”
The book reveals how white house staffers struggle to keep up with Trump’s twitter rants, while attempting to run a country, and still serve their own self-interests. The factional and self-preservationist nature of the staffers made the White House seem more like a war zone than a functioning branch of government. Wolff made the alarming assertions that everyone on Trump’s campaign team hoped he would lose. Kellyanne Conway hoped that her campaign managerial stint would lead to a promising career in television broadcasting; Banon was positioning himself to be the leader of the Tea House parties populist revival movement; Ivanka and Jared Kushner were ready to embrace their new lives as international celebrities; even Trump threw around the idea of creating his own television network post his victorious defeat. Sources recall Trump being in a glazed-over state when his victory was announced and the soon-to-be first lady was teary-eyed. It’s no wonder that the past 11 months of his presidency have been filled with chaos and turmoil. A group of grieving individuals with no set plan for policies, domestic or foreign, gained control off the most powerful job in the world.