Here's what's in the controversial new book about the Trump White House

The White House says the upcoming book that paints an unflattering portrait of President Trump and his administration is 'disgraceful and laughable." (Jan. 4)

The explosive new book by Michael Wolff about the Trump White House is out Friday. From details about Donald Trump's campaign to the fiefdoms that formed after inauguration, we'll have the highlights from Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House here.

The book has already been knocked by President Trump and the White House. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders described it as "filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House."

For his part, author Michael Wolff said that the details in the book "are in conflict with one another" and that many are "baldy untrue." In some cases, he said the reader would be allowed to judge the versions told to him. For other details, he "settled on a version of events I believe to be true."

Here are some highlights from the book, per excerpts published by The GuardianThe Wall Street Journal and New York magazine:

Bannon calls Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer 'treasonous'

Shortly after reports surfaced about a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., other Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer that took place in June 2016, Steve Bannon told Wolff: "The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers."

He continued: “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

And he was not impressed by the Trump kids

If the meeting with the Russian lawyer had to take place, it should have been done at a "Holiday Inn in Manchester, N.H., with your lawyers who meet with these people," he said. 

"You never see it, you never know it, because you don't need to ... But that's the brain trust that they had," Bannon said, in an apparent insult to Trump Jr. The meeting, which Trump Jr. took with the hopes of getting information from the Russian government to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign, took place at Trump Tower in New York. 

Bannon is also quoted as calling Ivanka Trump as "dumb as a brick."

Henry Kissinger on Bannon, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

According to the Guardian, the division between Bannon and Trump's daughter and son-in-law is a recurring theme in the book.

Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger said of the contentious relationship: "It is a war between the Jews and the non-Jews."

Moving the U.S. embassy

The plan was always to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Bannon.

“Day one we’re moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem," he told Ailes, and the move was supported by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

This didn't quite happen on day one, but the Trump administration announced the move in December.

Wolff thanks White House

The White House and President Trump himself have already disavowed author and journalist Michael Wolff, but, in the introduction, Wolff himself said he owes them a lot.

"For whatever reason, almost everyone I contacted — senior members of the White House staff as well as dedicated observers of it — shared large amounts of time with me and went to great effort to help shed light on the unique nature of life inside the Trump White House. In the end, what I witnesses, and what this book is about, is a group of people who have struggled, each in their own way, to come to terms with the meaning of working for Donald Trump. I owe them an enormous debt."

Words from Trump associate Thomas Barrack

"He's not only crazy, he's stupid," Barrack, one of Trump's oldest friends, reportedly told a friend about Trump. (Barrack has issued a statement denying this quote.)

Michael Flynn didn't think Russia speech would be a problem

Michael Flynn — who would later go on to become Trump's national security adviser before resigning amid revelations that he'd spoken with the Russian ambassador prior to Trump's inauguration — was paid $45,000 for speaking at an anniversary conference for RT, the state-funded Russian TV network, in 2015.

But that was fine, he thought.

"Flynn...had been told by friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. 'Well, it would only be a problem if we won,' he assured them, knowing that it would therefore not be a problem."

Trump's ignorance of the Russia problem

Some Trump associates believed that Trump scoffing at Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election was "a perfect example of his inability to connect the dots."

"Even if he hadn't personally conspired with the Russians to fix the election, his efforts to curry favor with, of all people, Vladimir Putin had no doubt left a trail of alarming words and deeds likely to have enormous political costs," the book reads.

One person who was particular concerned? Ailes.

"You've got to get right on Russia," the former Fox News chairman told Trump.

Who's John Boehner?

Former head of Fox News Roger Ailes reportedly told Trump that he needed "a son of a b**** as your chief of staff, and you need a son of a b**** who knows Washington." He suggested John Boehner, the former Republican speaker of the House.

"Who's that?" Trump replied.

(Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that this is inaccurate.)

Ann Coulter is why Jared Kushner is not chief of staff

Kushner was apparently one choice for Trump's chief of staff.

Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter reportedly put a stop to that.

She said: "Nobody is apparently telling you this. But you can't. You just can't hire your children."

Rupert Murdoch isn't a big fan

After Trump met with Silicon Valley executives, he reportedly spoke with media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch advised Trump that working on H-1B visas may not jibe with the immigration promises Trump had made during the campaign.

"What a f***ing idiot," Murdoch apparently said.

Roger Ailes questioned everything

The former Fox News CEO and chairman was unsure of Trump's political prowess: "Politicians were front men in a complex organizational effort. Operatives knew the game, and so did most candidates and officeholders. But Ailes was pretty sure Trump did not. Trump was undisciplined.”

Trump also reportedly asked Ailes to chair his campaign. After Ailes turned him down, Steve Bannon got the job a week later.

Don't forget that Trump, Scarborough and Brzezinski were chummy

Months before he hurled graphic insults at the Morning Joe hosts, Trump had lunch with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi. He first inquired about their relationship, then told them to "just get married." When Kushner, also present at the lunch, volunteered to marry them, Trump jumped in:

"What? What are you talking about? Why would they want you to marry them when I could marry them? When they could be married by the president! At Mar-a-Lago!" 

© 2018 USATODAY.COM


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