Media Advisory: NPR News Interviews author Michael Wolff NPR's Kelly McEvers spoke to author Michael Wolff about his new scathing book on the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
NPR logo Media Advisory: NPR News Interviews author Michael Wolff

Media Advisory: NPR News Interviews author Michael Wolff

Publication of Michael Wolff's new book about the Trump White House was moved up, despite president's threat to block it. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Publication of Michael Wolff's new book about the Trump White House was moved up, despite president's threat to block it.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Friday, January 5th; In an interview airing on today's All Things Considered, NPR's Kelly McEvers spoke to author Michael Wolff about his new scathing book on the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

The book, which chronicles the early months of the Trump administration, has caused widespread controversy throughout Washington. It has caused a public break between Trump and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and the President's lawyer tried to block publication of the book. The book is the subject of a cease and desist letter Trump's lawyers sent to Wolff and his publisher, Henry Holt.

The interview will air in two parts on All Things Considered – the first part tonight at 5:06pm/7:06pm/9:06pm ET, and the second on Monday.

Stations and broadcast times are available at NPR.org/stations.

Excerpts of the interview are available below and can be cited with attribution. The full transcript will be made available after the interview has aired.

On accusations that Wolff's reporting and quotes are false:
"When you write a book like this, people regret what they said to me. What they say to any reporter who they relax with and they forget who they're talking to. I have sympathy for that and I think the natural response is to say 'oh my god I didn't say it.' But I will tell you, they said it."

On what White House staff learned about Trump's personality, overtime:
"I think the 2 fundamental issues were that Donald Trump doesn't read anything. Let me accent that—anything. Nothing. If you're working for the President of the United States, that's an odd position because how do you get information to him? That's already a major hurdle. But then there's the 2nd hurdle—that not only does he not read, he doesn't listen. So it becomes from day 1, the crisis of the presidency: you can't tell him anything. So on the 1st day of the presidency, when he announces that the inaugural crowds were 3 or 4 or 5 times larger than they actually were, you couldn't say to him 'that's not true! You shouldn't have said it from the beginning, but now we have to fix it.' He wouldn't read it and you couldn't tell him it because he won't listen to you. It is entirely his reality."

On how White House staff gets along with a President who doesn't read or listen:
"Each are trying to use their particular leverage and each has leverage with the President. Also, in order to increase their leverage with the President, they were trying to kill each other. In some nearly literal sense, kill each other. Certainly, Jared Kushner believed that Steve Bannon was leaking—that the information about Kushner's relationship and conversations with Russians which put him in legal peril, was coming from Bannon. Reince Priebus almost every day of this administration was a guy who was going to be fired the next day."

How President Trump's aides/family view his competence:
"Again these people and largely good people. In a sense all good people came into this White House with the best of intentions and since, and I was there. This is the story that I saw. I saw the transformation. I mean in the beginning they pumped you full of how great Donald trump was, and as the days went on, you saw that the transformation their own doubts beginning. They began this sort of kind of physical reaction. They would tell you these positive things but their eyes would roll and they would kind of pantomime certain ways. You know, they wanted to communicate to people outside that they knew that they understood something. And then this got, got, got more intense until you would get to the point where people were really saying you know really questioning him. Is he actually stupid, um is he actually illiterate, is he you know what is going on trying to understand what they were dealing with and then in the end getting to the point, and this was certainly most vividly expressed in the book by Steve Bannon of just not believing that this would, that this could in any way shape or form have a happy ending."


Contact:
Ben Fishel, NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org