Steve Bannon Calls Trump Jr.’s Russian Meeting “Treasonous” In New White House Exposé

Steve Bannon Calls Trump Jr.’s Russian Meeting “Treasonous” In New White House Exposé


New York Magazine has posted a fascinating adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by veteran journalist, Michael Wolff.

From New York Magazine:

Wolff, who chronicles the administration from Election Day to this past October, conducted conversations and interviews over a period of 18 months with the president, most members of his senior staff, and many people to whom they in turn spoke. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, Wolff says, he was able to take up “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing” — an idea encouraged by the president himself. Because no one was in a position to either officially approve or formally deny such access, Wolff became “more a constant interloper than an invited guest.” There were no ground rules placed on his access, and he was required to make no promises about how he would report on what he witnessed.

Since then, he conducted more than 200 interviews. In true Trumpian fashion, the administration’s lack of experience and disdain for political norms made for a hodgepodge of journalistic challenges. Information would be provided off-the-record or on deep background, then casually put on the record. Sources would fail to set any parameters on the use of a conversation, or would provide accounts in confidence, only to subsequently share their views widely. And the president’s own views, private as well as public, were constantly shared by others.

I just finished reading the online excerpt and it is riveting in its frank behind-the-scenes accounts of a presidency that apparently no one expected to happen.

According to the article:

• The entire Trump campaign team, including Donald Trump, was expecting to lose the election. But the loss was to set up each Trump player for the next chapters of their lives. Trump reportedly told Roger Ailes, “I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”

• Melania Trump had been promised her husband wouldn’t win; Kellyanne Conway had already interviewed with news networks before election day to become a political pundit/star; Steve Bannon was to become the defacto head of the Tea Party. And then Trump won.

Shortly after 8 p.m. 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.

[snip]

Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” Nunberg recalled, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.

• Donald and Melania Trump sleep in separate bedrooms.

• Bannon says the Russian collusion investigation is heading towards the issue of money laundering.

• Katie Walsh, former Deputy Chief of Staff, told Wolff that working with Trump in the White House was “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

And then there’s a bombshell report from The Guardian, who got ahold of an advance copy, wherein Steve Bannon called Donald Trump Jr. “treasonous” and predicted that the investigation into Russian collusion will “crack Don Junior like egg.”

It’s an enthralling read. Wolff is an absolute pro – you can be certain nothing here is made up. With oveer 200 documented interviews, and folks too inexperienced to set parameters on those chat with Wolff, I’m sure many will be denying they said a lot of stuff Wolff recorded.

From the folks in the Twitterverse: