The Renegade Rip

“Fire and Fury” reveals few unseen tales

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Jenny Brito, Web & Social Media Editor

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Written by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury” offers an interesting perspective on what the White House is like with President Trump in command. The book paints the current commander-in-chief as somebody with child-like intelligence, no heart, and questionable leading abilities.

Before “Fire and Fury” was published, Trump called Wolff a mentally deranged author. He went on a rant about his favorite topic–fake news– and even sought to stop the publisher from releasing the book. Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the book achieved the opposite. Everyone flooded bookstores as soon as it released. Curiosity got the best of me, and I bought it, too. After all, who doesn’t love gossip?

“Fire and Fury” starts with an author’s note where Wolff describes the process through which the book was born. He explained that he wanted to write an account of Trump’s first 100 days as president, but he then realized that there was much more to say. He begins by sharing that Trump did not believe he could win.

As the author puts it, “Trump and his tiny band of campaign warriors were ready to lose with fire and fury. They were not ready to win.” This simple yet powerful statement would explain so much about Trump’s behavior as president if it could be confirmed. Wolff shared that close allies such as Roger Ailes, the former Chairman and CEO of Fox News who passed away in 2017, did not think Trump had it in him. Ailes once asked whether Trump “gets it,” to which Steve Bannon answered that he did after an awkwardly long pause. In other words, the people who were supposed to support him secretly doubted his capabilities. Wolff also talked about Trump’s paranoia and how he did not trust anybody.

In addition to comments about Trump’s “semi-literacy” and “lack of leadership,” the book suggests that he and his close circle engaged in illegal acts. Wolff talked about the controversial Trump Tower meeting. Steve Bannon, according to him, called the meeting “treasonous” and added that it should have been reported to the FBI. He also suggested that he was pretty sure the Russians had met Trump himself. So far, Bannon has not confirmed that he made those comments.

The book also provides a picture of Trump’s marriage. According to Wolff, Trump has been “a chronically unfaithful husband to Melania.” The couple allegedly sleeps in separate rooms, spends no time together, and Trump has called her a trophy wife. Wolff added that the First Lady never wanted that role. After Trump won, Melania was inconsolable.

These are the most dramatic claims made in “Fire and Fury,” which was a bit disappointing considering all the attention it got. There are no huge secrets revealed, and most of the information is something that people can conclude from watching the president on national television for a couple of hours. That is fine. There are hundreds of books that only reached popularity due to good marketing.

What truly bothers me is that Wolff, a reporter, did not seem to do much reporting or fact-checking. Those who have read the book have probably noticed that half of the claims are made by Wolff himself, and there is no evidence to prove them. When he quotes others and what they shared in interviews, the claims seem more accurate. When he does not, it looks like he is only sharing his opinion, and opinions cannot be corroborated. He could be making stuff up for all we know.

Good marketing for an average book was the secret to the success of “Fire and Fury.” As for the content, I must—and it pains me to say it—agree with those who call it just another work of fiction.

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“Fire and Fury” reveals few unseen tales