It’s conceivable that President Trump expected author Michael Wolff to walk away charmed, penning a flattering book on the early days of the Trump presidency.
But if he, or the aides and family members surrounding him, had any doubt, as has been noted in the days since the first “Fire and Fury” excerpts began appearing, any one of several actions — a quick phone call to media mogul Rupert Murdoch, with whom Trump was and remains, reportedly, in frequent contact and who found himself immortalized less flatteringly than perhaps hoped a decade ago by Wolff; a more thorough reading of the June 2016 Hollywood Reporter piece by Wolff that’s viewed as having set the stage for his free-ranging White House access but which was not as positive as the Trump camp reportedly believed; or a direct questioning of Wolff as to his plans — might have changed the course of history, at least to the extent that Trump’s lawyers would not this week have been engaged in an eleventh-hour bid to quash the Wolff book even as its publisher was accelerating its publication and it was soaring to the top of the Amazon charts.
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It seems none of those avenues was explored, though. Wolff has conceded that he “kept waiting for” the Murdoch call to be made, with its likely ramifications. As to the failure to simply query the author himself, Wolff, asked by Hollywood Reporter part-owner Janice Min what the Trump team thought he was doing in the White House, replied, according to Min’s recollection:
‘I have no idea. No one asks.’
Trump, it should be noted, has denied via Twitter that he granted Wolff the unfettered access that formed the foundation of the book.