On January 5th, Henry Holt and Company released “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a book by journalist Michael Wolff chronicling Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign as well as the President’s behavior. The exposé uses interviews and conversations, held over the course of 18 months with White House senior staff members as well as Trump himself, to paint a terrifying picture of our current president. Trump allegedly agreed to give Wolff access to the White House because he enjoyed an article about him that Wolff wrote for The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. However, Trump later tweeted that he “authorized Zero access to White House” and called the book “full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.”
Three days after the book’s publication, an attorney representing Trump sent a letter to Henry Holt and Company demanding that the publisher cease further dissemination of “Fire and Fury.” Elizabeth A. MacNamara, an attorney representing Henry Holt and Company, responded to Trump’s attorney in her own letter: “The president is free to call news ‘fake’ and to blast the media. That goes against convention, but it is not unconstitutional,” Sargent wrote. “But a demand to cease and desist publication—a clear effort by the President of the United States to intimidate a publisher into halting publication of an important book on the workings of the government—is an attempt to achieve what is called prior restraint. That is something that no American court would order as it is flagrantly unconstitutional.”
Trump’s outrage concerning “Fire and Fury” undoubtably stems from its unflattering portrayal of him—as well as its inclusion of numerous disparaging quotes from politicians and Trump family members regarding the President. (Supposedly, when it became clear that Trump was going to win the election, Melania “was in tears – and not of joy.” The book also reports that Rupert Murdoch called Trump an “f**king idiot” after speaking to him on the phone.) In addition, the book questions Trump’s mental health and fitness for office—a subject hat has been much debated by psychiatrists and citizens alike since the election. Wolff elaborated on this in an interview, which you can watch below, with Savannah Guthrie for NBC.
The book also discusses possible plans for Ivanka Trump to run for president herself. Wolff writes: “between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump.”
Despite Donald Trump’s attempts to cease the book’s publication, its content has already reached thousands: it became the number one best-seller in print, e-book and audiobook on Amazon and the Apple iBooks Store following New York Magazine‘s publication of excerpts on January 3rd.