On the third (yes, only the third) day of this fresh new year, quotes taken from Michael Wolff’s upcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, began to surface online, sending the internet into a straight-up meltdown.
Those lines featured Steve Bannon calling Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians “treasonous.” Shortly afterward, Wolff released a giant, damning, scarily revealing excerpt with New York Magazine titled: “Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President.”
A note following the excerpt, which was adapted from Wolff’s book, explains “how he got the story,” and says the inside information was gathered in part from more than 200 interviews that the author conducted starting shortly after inauguration day.
In his book Wolff goes on to reveal some of the most confusing, shocking, and unbelievable behind-the-scenes moments from Trump’s presidency. Here are 14 of the wildest revelations from this excerpt alone.
1. Trump’s people expected his defeat, and felt it was best for the country
Apparently everyone, from Kellyanne Conway to Jared Kushner to Trump himself, had no intention of Trump winning the presidential race, nor any confidence that he would.
“Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.”
“Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.”
2. He ran for fame. Shocker.
As the title quite clearly spells out, Trump didn’t want to be president. According to Wolff, he ran to gain fame for himself, his friends, and family.
Wolff wrote that Trump expressed his joy over the attention he was receiving as a result of his campaign to none other than Roger Ailes — yes, the former Fox News president accused of sexual harassment.
“His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. ‘I can be the most famous man in the world,’ he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.
‘This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,’ he told Ailes a week before the election. ‘I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.'”
3. The dude didn’t even want to invest in himself
It makes sense that a man who had no intention of winning wouldn’t want to waste his own money on the campaign, I suppose. But come on, Trump.
“Bannon, who became chief executive of Trump’s team in mid-August, called it ‘the broke-dick campaign.’ Almost immediately, he saw that it was hampered by an even deeper structural flaw: The candidate who billed himself as a billionaire — ten times over — refused to invest his own money in it.
In the end, the best Trump would do is to loan the campaign $10 million, provided he got it back as soon as they could raise other money. Steve Mnuchin, the campaign’s finance chairman, came to collect the loan with the wire instructions ready to go so Trump couldn’t conveniently forget to send the money.”
4. The Trumps were NOT pleased with victory
Ideal reaction from the new first family. No?
“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.”
5. Does Donny even care about the country?
Apparently Trump can’t even make it through an explanation of the Constitution without getting bored.
“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.'”
6. Kushner was ~almost~ Chief of Staff
After Ailes told Trump “You need a son of a bitch as your chief of staff,” he reportedly suggested his son-in-law Jared Kushner for the job. Ann Coulter informed Trump he couldn’t simply hire his children, and against all opposition America somehow ended up with Bannon.
“Bowing to pressure, Trump floated the idea of giving the job to Steve Bannon, only to have the notion soundly ridiculed. Murdoch told Trump that Bannon would be a dangerous choice. Joe Scarborough, the former congressman and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, told the president-elect that ‘Washington will go up in flames’ if Bannon became chief of staff.
7. Even Rupert Murdoch thinks Trump’s an idiot
Sorry Trump, but even the owner of your beloved Fox News thinks you’re a moron.
After Trump met with “a high-level delegation from Silicon Valley,” he reportedly called Rupert Murdoch to give him a run-down. Trump said the meeting went great and “Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation.”
Murdoch reportedly ended the call with a shrug, saying:
“What a fucking idiot.”
8. Bannon knows Trump’s a creep
“‘Bolton’s mustache is a problem,’ snorted Bannon. ‘Trump doesn’t think he looks the part. You know Bolton is an acquired taste.’
‘Well, he got in trouble because he got in a fight in a hotel one night and chased some woman.’
‘If I told Trump that,’ Bannon said slyly, ‘he might have the job.'”
9. Trump hated his inauguration
You might not have enjoyed it, but apparently neither did he.
”Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed.”
10. Bannon loved Trump’s travel ban
While Trump brought so many to tears with his initial Muslim ban, Banon was busy celebrating the first of many moral blows to Democrats.
Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?
‘Errr … that’s why,’ said Bannon. “So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.” That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.
11. Trump is the best minister
The POTUS thinks anyone would be lucky to have him marry them. Pshh, Kushner. Who are YOU?
“Trump, changing the topic, said to Scarborough and Brzezinski, “So what about you guys? What’s going on?” He was referencing their not-so-secret secret relationship. The couple said it was still complicated, but good.
‘You guys should just get married,’ prodded Trump.
‘I can marry you! I’m an internet Unitarian minister,’ Kushner, otherwise an Orthodox Jew, said suddenly.
‘What?’ said the president. ‘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!'”
12. Ivanka jokes about Daddy’s combover
Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.
“She 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 center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, 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 color.”
13. Trump is very private and often fears he’ll be poisoned
Trump reportedly has his own bedroom with three televisions and a door with a lock. When he’s not in front of his screens you can likely find him scolding housekeeping, eating McDonald’s, or fearing for his life.
“He reprimanded the housekeeping staff for picking up his shirt from the floor: ‘If my shirt is on the floor, it’s because I want it on the floor.’ Then he imposed a set of new rules: Nobody touch anything, especially not his toothbrush. (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 premade.) Also, he would let housekeeping know when he wanted his sheets done, and he would strip his own bed.”
14. He low-to-medium-key hates his own staff
Trust no one.
“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). Priebus was weak (not to mention he was short — a midget). Kushner was a suck-up. Sean Spicer was stupid (and looks terrible too). Conway was a crybaby. Jared and Ivanka should never have come to Washington.”
*DEEP AF EXHALE*
Wolff’s book is set to be published by Henry Holt & Co. on Jan. 9. We can only imagine what else he has in store.