Excerpts from controversial book on Trump

In his interview for the book on President Trump, Mr Bannon said "the three senior guys in the campaign - Mr Donald Trump Jr (top), son-in-law Jared Kushner (middle) and campaign manager Paul Manafort (above) - thought it was a good idea to meet a fo
US President Donald Trump with then White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon during a swearing-in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in January last year. Mr Trump, in a statement, has excoriated Mr Bannon as a self-promoting exaggerator who had "very little to do with our historic victory" in the presidential election.PHOTO: REUTERS
In his interview for the book on President Trump, Mr Bannon said "the three senior guys in the campaign - Mr Donald Trump Jr (top), son-in-law Jared Kushner (middle) and campaign manager Paul Manafort (above) - thought it was a good idea to meet a fo
In his interview for the book on President Trump, Mr Bannon said "the three senior guys in the campaign - Mr Donald Trump Jr (left), son-in-law Jared Kushner (center) and campaign manager Paul Manafort (right) - thought it was a good idea to meet a foreign government inside Trump Tower". But Mr Bannon said he thought it was treasonous and unpatriotic.

WASHINGTON • The following are excerpts published by New York magazine, The Guardian and The Washington Post from the new book about President Donald Trump by Michael Wolff, Fire And Fury: Inside the Trump White House, to be released on Tuesday:

1 TRUMP TEAM THOUGHT IT WOULD LOSE

"As the campaign came to an end, Trump himself was sanguine. His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. ... 'This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,' he told (former Fox News chief Roger) Ailes a week before the election. 'I don't think about losing, because it isn't losing. We've totally won.'

"Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the Tea Party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn't become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning."

After Melania Trump was inconsolable that the New York Post had obtained outtakes from a nude photo shoot done early in her modelling career, Trump told her they would sue.

"But he was unaccustomedly contrite, too. Just a little longer, he told her. It would all be over in November. He offered his wife a solemn guarantee: there was simply no way he would win."

"Shortly after 8pm on Election Night, when the unexpected trend - Trump might actually win - seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears - and not of joy.

"There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon's not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States."

2 BANNON ON THE MEETING WITH RUSSIANS

"The three senior guys in the campaign (Donald Trump Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort) 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.

"Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."

3 ON CHINA

"The real enemy, (Bannon) said, was China. China was the first front in a new Cold War. China's everything. Nothing else matters. We don't get China right, we don't get anything right. This whole thing is very simple. China is where Nazi Germany was in 1929 to 1930. The Chinese, like the Germans, are the most rational people in the world, until they're not. And they're gonna flip like Germany in the 30s. You're going to have a hypernationalist state, and once that happens, you can't put the genie back in the bottle."

4 IVANKA'S PRESIDENTIAL DREAMS

"Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If some time 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."

5 TRUMP FEARS BEING POISONED

"He had a longtime fear of being poisoned, one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's - nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made."

6 TRUMP ON HIS STAFF

"When he got on the phone after dinner, he'd speculate on the flaws and weaknesses of each member of his staff. Bannon was disloyal (not to mention he always looks like shit). (Chief of staff Rence) Priebus was weak (not to mention he was short - a midget). Kushner was a suck-up. (White House spokesman) Sean Spicer was stupid (and looks terrible too). (Senior adviser Kellyanne) Conway was a crybaby. Jared and Ivanka should never have come to Washington."

7 OBSESSION WITH MURDOCH

"Rupert Murdoch, who had promised to pay a call on the President-elect, was running late. When some of the guests made a move to leave, an increasingly agitated Trump assured them that Rupert was on his way. 'He's one of the greats, the last of the greats,' Trump said. 'You have to stay to see him.'

"Not grasping that he was now the most powerful man in the world, Trump was still trying mightily to curry favour with a media mogul who had long disdained him as a charlatan and fool."

In a call between both men about Trump's meeting with Silicon Valley executives, Trump is said to have told Murdoch: "These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favourable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.

"'Donald,' said Murdoch, 'for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don't need your help'.

"'Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas.' Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America's doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders.

"But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, 'We'll figure it out.'

"'What a f****** idiot,' said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone."

8 THE COMB-OVER EXPLAINED

"(Ivanka Trump) treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate - a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery - surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the centre and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The colour, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men - the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump's orange-blond hair colour."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Secrets of the Trump White House'. Print Edition | Subscribe