“Fire and Fury”: the book of Michael Wolff reflects the chaos that he feeds himself

Photo: Jim Watson, Agence France-Presse
Donald Trump on the point of boarding the presidential plane in the direction of Nashville, Tennessee, January 8,

The worst is never certain. And it fades even with time.


This is what we said after having dropped back in favor of a small household library this week-end, in the report by Kenneth Starr on the Monica Lewinsky affair, put in a book in 1998, after its widespread diffusion and orchestrated on the Web. Remember : the privacy of Bill Clinton was unveiled under the pen of the independent prosecutor in charge of doing the light on the lies alleged by the tenant of the White House around a dark history combining power, intern, and adultery. The image of the american president, there was skinning, just as the prestige of its function, in a whole, the entire planet is gaussée for months.


A circus, yes, but a circus in which, almost 20 years later, it now takes like a short scene, a little coarse in the light of the 320 pages the american journalist Michael Wolff has to bring to the attention of his contemporaries under the title Fire and Fury : Inside the Trump White House. The book, at the head of the sales on Amazon since its release earlier four days last Friday, reads as a strange comedy to political Mike Judge (director of the movie Idiocracy and the tv series Silicon Valley) could very well conceive. It details all of the absurd of the first year of the presidency of the real estate mogul and star of reality television Donald Trump.

Chaos to strategy

In a paradox as worrisome as tasty, the object reflects the daily chaos within the White House, the chaos that the book itself has now : three days after the publication of the good leaves by several american newspapers, Steve Bannon, eminence grise of Trump, who, in the pages of the book of Wolff, describes the president’s son, Donald’s son, as a “traitor” for having organised a meeting with a representative of the Russian government during the election campaign, was timidly distanced himself from his comments Sunday. He spoke of” inaccurate information “and recalled that “Junior” is a ” patriot and a good man “, and this, in a gesture very “bannonien” consisting of multiply, according to Wolff, the realities in the hope of putting the mess wherever he goes.


“The chaos, it is the strategy of Steve,” says Katie Walsh, politician, who like many others has done a brief stint in the government Trump, as deputy director of the cabinet Reince Priebius, before returning, just like him, moreover, to have a normal life. In this story of a presidency that is unique, Bannon is portrayed in intriguing, comploteur, to the origin of the leaks of information which, for one year, to splash out the clan Trump. It is he who would have come out of the shade this encounter compromising between Donald Trump’s son, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort with a Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, June 9, 2016 in a conference room on the 25th floor of the Trump Tower in New York.


“It’s worse than you can imagine, one can read in an email that summarizes the thought of Gary Cohn, former boss of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, now director of the national economic Council. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump never reads anything — not a page of memoranda, guidance documents, nothing. He leaves the leading international mid-meeting because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is a child who knows nothing. Bannon is an idiot arrogant who thinks he is more brilliant than it is. “


According to a senior White House quoted by CNBC, Gary Cohn denies, however, have held these ” about ridiculous “.


Reality or alternate reality ? Michael Wolff has since become a Friday this messenger that attracts on him the looks that the attacks for his message, for which it provides, however, that it is the result of conversations conducted in the last 18 months, with the president himself, but also with his staff and his family and friends met in the West Wing of the White House where, since the last January 20, the journalist, accustomed to political portraits cultivating the effect of style and spectacular, ensure to have had its inputs. A ” book bottle “, a summary Trump which we refer to in these pages, struggling to adapt to life in the illustrious house, the hours he spent locked up alone in his room, his report remote at his wife, Melania, as he calls it, ” female trophy “, or even his report on the obsessive to the tv — its only source of information — and cheeseburgers — that he did buy at McDo to be sure not to be poisoned. A psychology of a leader — and an entourage fragile — that reveals, finally, a portrait as predictable as consistent with the appearances, the tweets of the president and the turnover of staff at the White House, a portrait of a presidency, which we can only hope that the character of improvised, absurd and ridiculous does not depreciate, however, never with the time.

Fire and Fury
★★★ 1/2

Inside the Trump White House (not translated), Michael Wolff, Henry Holt Publishing, New York, 2018, 322 pages