To say a new book about Donald Trump—The Fire and the Fury by Martin Wolff—has caused a stir would be an understatement.
Wolff has said he wants to bring Trump down. Trump’s lawyers threatened to sue if the book was published. In response the publishers brought the release date forward.
The book is based on some 200 interviews. At times exchanges and quotes seem almost unbelievable, but Wolff’s publishers were willing to go to the wall.
Closed doors are opened and dirty laundry is dragged out through them.
In the book’s introduction we’re sat at a dinner table alongside far right aide Steve Bannon, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and others. It is election night and Trump has won.
We get a glimpse of the arguments inside the ruling class. “Does he get it?” Ailes asks Bannon. “He gets it,” responded Bannon.
Wolff interprets this exchange as about whether or not Trump understands his own political programme.
Another interpretation is that Ailes is asking Bannon if Trump understands his role as manager of US capitalism.
Peppered throughout the book are explosive quotes. “Day one we’re moving the US embassy to Jerusalem,” says Bannon.
Internal warfare rages throughout the White House.
People fight for their own agendas and try to convince Trump of them, but nothing stays in his mind. Chaos reigns.
The coverage of the book’s release and the subsequent fallout in the mainstream media has focused largely on Trump’s mental health. That completely misses the point.
The liberal “resistance” to Trump means calling him names and making fun of his supposed mental distress.
The real solution is to organise against everything he represents in society—racism, sexism and every other attack on working class people.
Wolff describes the responses to allegations of Russian president Vladimir Putin fixing the presidential election.
The media “saw it as the Holy Grail and silver bullet of Trump destruction”,
“And the Trump White House saw it, with quite some self-pity, as a desperate effort to concoct a scandal”.
‘You need to take it seriously, Donald’
We’re invited to see Trump as a man-child “polishing off a pint of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream as he idly opined about a range of topics.”Donald Trump is painted as a bumbling buffoon.
The subtle, and not so subtle, political games of Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon and others are torn apart in seconds by Trump. He sabotages a visit from the Mexican president with a tweet.
Trump ignores the advice of venerable racist right wingers from Henry Kissinger to Ailes. “You’ve got to get right on Russia,” Ailes tells him. “You need to take this seriously, Donald.” “Jared has this,” replied Trump. “It’s all worked out.”
His White House is a shambles. Trump gives Bannon and Kushner equivalent levels of power and access to him. It’s a recipe for chaos and pulls Trump from position to position depending on who spoke to him last.
Family members and advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are portrayed as a power couple in the making.
Ivanka is described as preparing a bid for president in 2020.
Kushner’s links to powerful men such as Rupert Murdoch and Henry Kissinger are revealed.
He calls his criminal father “daddy”.
Chaos was strategy of far right Bannon
Trump’s former key adviser Steve Bannon is savaged.
We’re given an insight into his role in drafting Trump’s first executive order (EO) to implement the first Muslim Ban.
He entrusted its drafting to Stephen Miller, a former member of staff for Jeff Sessions who was “unable to construct sentences”.
“Bannon, during the transition, sent him to the Internet to learn about and to try to draft the EO,” writes Wolff.
“Chaos was Steve’s strategy,” Wolff quotes Trump staffer Katie Walsh as saying.When asked why he implemented the ban when it would have the most impact Bannon replied, “So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.”
He is alleged to be preparing his own presidential bid.
Families that stay together
Wolff portrays Trump’s family and team as a bunch of hangers-on who wanted to use Trump’s unsuccessful election as their own springboard to personal fame and fortune.
Trump wanted to be the “world’s most famous man” and would use the election to do it. Because he had no intention of winning the election there was no need to clean up his act.
“It certainly is an odd circumstance if you live your life without regard for being elected and then get elected,” an Obama administration lawyer told Wolff.
“And it’s quite an opportunity for your enemies.”
Among Trump’s advisers Bannon appears to be the only one who thought Trump could win.
Trump had promised Melania Trump he would lose and she could go back to a life of idle luxury.
Wolff describes her crying on election night—“and not tears of joy”.
Join the women’s march
Women’s march London group has called a rally in London for 21 January. It’s against discrimination, oppression, silence and abuse.
The women’s march last year, which took place the day after Trump’s inauguration, drew tens of thousands onto the streets.
It was part of a global day of protest against Trump.